Morgantown, West Virginia – This is the world we live in. College athletics has changed dramatically over the past couple of seasons and whether we like it or not, collegiate athletes get paid large sums of money.
The West Virginia Mountaineers finished the 2021-2022 season a disappointing 6-7. With several key players either graduating or leaving the program to enter the transfer portal, Neal Brown will have to replace a large part of his roster.
Although West Virginia has a stable of young, talented quarterbacks (Nicco Marchiol, Garrett Greene, Will “Goose” Crowder), they all lack experience and the Mountaineers can’t afford another rebuilding year. Winning the season opener in the Backyard Brawl against Pitt is absolutely critical to the future of the football program, and Neal Brown can’t take this lightly. Starting Marchiol, Greene or Crowder in such an important game is risky at best.
Instead, the Mountaineers would be far better off playing an experienced quarterback who won’t be bothered by the pressure of the game.
Enter JT Daniels.
Daniels, a 6’3 junior, is a former five star quarterback and played for new West Virginia offensive coordinator Graham Harrell at USC as a freshman. Daniels would be the perfect transition quarterback to step in and start for the Mountaineers while the team’s young quarterbacks develop.
He’s played in huge PAC 12 and SEC games in front of some of the largest crowds in college football. His Georgia Bulldogs won the national championship last year. He’s seen and done it all, and a game against the Pitt Panthers wouldn’t scare him one bit.
Giving a player $1 million dollars seems crude and unrealistic, but ultimately, this is precisely what needs to be done in order to compete with the other top programs in the nation.
Daniels already has his former offensive coordinator at USC, Graham Harrell, at West Virginia in the same position, and he obviously has familiarity with the offense that Harrell runs. Sliding Daniels $1 million to come in and be the starting quarterback would seal the deal and is absolutely worth it to the football program.
Country Roads Trust has the funding and ability to make this happen immediately. This is an important first step for West Virginia to truly be competitive in the changing world of college athletics.