(Photo by WVU Athletics)
What makes a Mountaineer? While that may be a question with a broad range of answers, I have a set few traits in mind. Courageous, gritty, hard-working, and resilient. When I think of each of those terms, there is one player that comes to mind – that player is Skyler Howard.
Throughout his three seasons with the Mountaineers, Howard was the recipient of a plethora of criticism. From “boos” at Milan Puskar Stadium to negative posts on social media, fans unfairly put down the Texas native. However, this did not keep him from becoming one of the most successful quarterbacks to play for the Old Gold & Blue.
Here are Howard’s career stats at WVU:
W-L Record: 19-9
Passing Yards: 7,302
Completion Percentage: 57.1%
Passing Touchdowns: 60
Rushing Yards: 1,105
Rushing Touchdowns: 16
For any school, most fans would be happy with these stats from their signal-caller. Mountaineer Nation, however, not so much.
It wasn’t Howard’s stats that I admired most about him, though. What I loved most about Skyler Howard was his resilience in paving his own path to being a successful Division 1 quarterback.
Going from no scholarship offers, to a running back at Stephen F. Austin, to a junior college quarterback at Riverside City Community College in California, Howard finally landed in Morgantown in 2014. With the likes of Clint Trickett and William Crest on the roster at the time, Howard became somewhat of an afterthought. This was until both William Crest and Clint Trickett suffered injuries, leading to Howard finally getting playing time against Kansas State.
He would take this position and never look back.
So much was stacked against Howard, but that didn’t matter – he just kept plugging away. This is a trait that many across the Mountain State hold near and dear. Mountaineers work hard and keep grinding no matter what. Thing may not always be pretty, but the job always gets done. That is exactly why I love Skyler Howard.
No matter what you are going through in your life, just keep churning along. The path may not be straight, the obstacles may seem monstrous, but everything will work out in the end. If you ever need inspiration for this, look no farther than Howard – a TRUE Mountaineer.