Morgantown, West Virginia – May 1st – the final day for college football players to enter the transfer portal – has come and gone, and the West Virginia Mountaineers, remarkably, still have four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster.
JT Daniels, Garrett Greene, Will “Goose” Crowder and Nicco Marchiol all believe they are going to be the starting quarterback for the Mountaineers during the upcoming 2022-2023 season.
To be clear, Daniels, a former five star recruit and one of the top players in his class, will be the starter. But Greene, Crowder and Marchiol are still under the assumption that they will be behind center when West Virginia opens up the season against bitter rival Pitt on September 1st in the Backyard Brawl.
The “open competition” that Neal Brown has no doubt promised his quarterbacks is merely a ruse to keep his young, talented arsenal of gunslingers in Morgantown. Afterall, JT Daniels wouldn’t have committed to play for the Mountaineers without a guarantee that he’s going to be the starter. He’s far too talented and experienced to commit to a school that would have him be involved in a true quarterback competition.
Having said that, Brown had to use very convincing, careful language to keep Greene, Crowder and Marchiol in town.
Greene – “You will be given the opportunity to compete for the starting quarterback position this year. If Daniels is as good as advertised, you are our most experienced quarterback in our system and we will need you in case Daniels is injured. And he’s been injured a lot during his career. We need you, Garrett.”
Crowder – “You had the best Spring game of all three quarterbacks, Goose. We love you here at West Virginia and think you have an incredibly bright future in front of you. Keep doing what you’re doing and it will pay off.”
Marchiol – “You are the future of our team, Nicco. The speed is so much faster and different in college than it is in high school, but when you catch up to the speed of the game, you will be the leader of our team.”
Make no mistake about it, Neal Brown and his coaching staff have a very definitive plan for the quarterback situation in the future, but this season is JT Daniels’ year, barring an injury. Brown likely wants Daniels to have a tremendous year, lead the Mountaineers to 8-10 wins and then go to the NFL Draft. Daniels staying two years would potentially stunt the growth of the three young quarterbacks behind him.
When Daniels leaves, Marchiol will have a year of growth and experience under his belt and will be ready to take over the team. Keeping Greene and Crowder engaged and part of the team will be the challenge next season.
West Virginia’s quarterback room is full of talent and intrigue, and it will certainly be interesting to see how it all plays out over the next couple of years.