Morgantown, West Virginia – Let me preface this by saying that JT Daniels and the close circle around him have kept his future intentions extraordinarily under wraps.
No one – maybe not even Daniels himself – really knows where he’s going to decide to finish his collegiate career. An Atlanta, Georgia radio commentator claimed that he had spoken to a couple of Daniels’ former teammates at Georgia and they were allegedly told that Daniels has chosen West Virginia.
Others have suggested that Oregon State has been the favorite all along and that Missouri and West Virginia were merely trips he took out of obligation.
But again, Daniels has played his cards close to the vest and has not given any real public indication about his future.
Having said that, the following reasons should give West Virginia fans some confidence as Daniels ponders his decision.
Backyard Brawl matchup against former teammate Kedon Slovis, who is expected to be Pitt’s starting quarterback
The West Virginia versus Pitt game in the season opener is going to be a huge game regardless of who the starting quarterbacks are, but a matchup of former teammates Kedon Slovis and JT Daniels would be particularly juicy!
At USC, Daniels was the better quarterback, but lost his job to Slovis when he tore his ACL. Slovis played well enough in Graham Harrell’s Air Raid offense that he remained the starter and Daniels transferred to Georgia.
A Daniels versus Slovis matchup in one of the great rivalries in college football would be absolute must-see.
Relative Lack of Competition
Yes, West Virginia has three very talented young quarterbacks, but they all lack experience at this level. Playing Nicco Marchiol, Garrett Greene or Will “Goose” Crowder to open the season in such a huge game against Pitt would be very risky. Although all three will likely be productive quarterbacks in the future, there’s just no way of knowing what they’ll do in their first real, significant playing time for the Mountaineers.
Daniels is a sure thing. He’s been productive in the PAC12 at USC and in the SEC at Georgia. He’s experienced and he would give West Virginia the best chance of beating Pitt. Neal Brown and his staff know that and they certainly conveyed that to Daniels during his visit.
Familiarity with Graham Harrell’s offense
Harrell’s Air Raid offense is precisely the kind of offense that a quarterback who has pro aspirations wants to play in. Daniels, a former five star recruit and one of the top players in his class out of high school, knows that he can one day play in the NFL if he plays in the right system in college.
In Harrell’s system, Daniels will put up huge numbers that would look great to pro scouts. In addition, don’t discount the relationship that he has with Harrell from their days at USC.
West Virginia is the right place at the right time
Make no mistake about it, West Virginia needs JT Daniels. While some are excited to see what the three young quarterbacks – Marchiol, Greene and Crowder – can do, there are simply too many unknowns with them.
JT Daniels is a perfect quarterback to lead the team while the younger guys develop. In other words, JT Daniels needs West Virginia and West Virginia needs JT Daniels. Daniels gives the Mountaineers the best opportunity to be successful next season and West Virginia’s offense is geared to make Daniels a future NFL quarterback.
This looks like a match made in Almost Heaven.