Morgantown, West Virginia – Although Jarret Doege denied it during his postgame interview following West Virginia’s big victory over the Texas Longhorns, it appears that he will almost certainly return to play for the Mountaineers next season.
It’s a difficult, awkward situation for Neal Brown. Obviously he believes in Doege’s abilities and Doege will be one of the most (if not the most) experienced quarterbacks in the history of college football as a sixth year starter. With that said, his return also complicates matters in the quarterback room.
The Case for Jarret Doege as West Virginia’s Starter in 2022
Doege is the leading passer in terms of passing yards in the Big 12 Conference with 2,738 yards and knows Brown’s offense better than anyone. He moved into 5th all-time in passing yards in West Virginia football history, passing the great Pat White.
In addition, by all accounts he’s an outstanding teammate and he’s an incredible veteran presence in the locker room.
However, he has struggled in big moments and made poor decisions that have led or contributed to West Virginia losses. Think back to last season’s bowl game against Army. The Mountaineers would not have won that game unless Doege was pulled and Austin Kendall was brought in to save the day.
It’s hard to argue with his production and statistics, but does Doege have it?
The Case for Garrett Greene as West Virginia’s Starter in 2022
Greene clearly isn’t perfect. He apparently doesn’t make reads well, he’s a bit undersized, he didn’t run a typical offense in high school, he isn’t a proven passer, but what’s become abundantly clear is that Greene has it. He’s a competitor, a winner, someone who can change the complexion of a game.
Despite this, it doesn’t seem like Greene will ever be given the chance to become West Virginia’s full-time starter under Neal Brown. Hopefully this doesn’t happen, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if he decides to transfer, particularly if Doege ultimately decides to return.
The Case for Will “Goose” Crowder as West Virginia’s Starter in 2022
Of all the quarterbacks on West Virginia’s roster, Neal Brown seems most excited about Crowder. Brown routinely gushes over him and has said repeatedly that he “just completes passes.” Brown has also said that big moments don’t affect Crowder and that he’s a very cool character and a natural leader. Physically, Crowder has all the tools. At 6’2, 208 pounds, he’s a big, strong quarterback and has a very live arm.
With that said, it’s hard to imagine Crowder starting next season over Doege and Greene, who have more experience in the Mountaineers’ system.
The Case for Nicco Marchiol as West Virginia’s Starter in 2022
Nicco Marchiol is a different level player and the type of quarterback that doesn’t often end up at West Virginia University. He will have an overwhelming amount of pressure on him to come in and rescue the program next season.
If anyone can come in and start for the West Virginia Mountaineers as a true freshman, it’s Nicco Marchiol. If you haven’t seen his high school highlights, it’s a must-see. He’s playing against the top competition in the nation and he just finds ways to win football games. He has the body and talent to come in and start day one.
Will Neal Brown, who is perhaps the most conservative personnel coach in the nation, really hand a true freshman the reigns to his team?
Who Should Start Next Season
Nicco Marchiol. Marchiol isn’t the type of player that wants to come in and sit on the sidelines “learning” from a more experienced quarterback. Neal Brown’s 2022 recruiting class very nearly fell apart, but Marchiol remained committed.
Losing with Jarret Doege for another season would be inexcusable. Going through growing pains and losing some games with Nicco Marchiol would be understandable, and it would provide real hope for the future.
Marchiol with Doege as a backup plan/mentor would be the ideal situation for the West Virginia Mountaineers next season.