West Virginia boasts crowded QB field
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Competition for starting quarterback at West Virginia is a numbers game.
The number is rather healthy.
Three of the presumed candidates are taking snaps during the Mountaineers' spring workouts. Two more are not even suited up but will be there for fall practice.
“It's a little bit unusual,” offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson said of all the quarterbacks.
The Mountaineers used three quarterbacks last season, part of the reason they went 4-8. Two of them, Clint Trickett and Paul Millard, are back. But only Millard is playing right now.
Trickett observes while his surgically-repaired right shoulder mends.
The other snaps are going to junior college transfer Skyler Howard and the long shot of the bunch, Logan Moore, who walked on before the 2012 season and played wide receiver in 2013.
Meanwhile, highly touted prep recruit William Crest from Baltimore will arrive during the summer.
“There's two guys not taking reps right now that are going to take reps,” Dawson said.
“You'd like to have it to where you have a clear-cut deal, right? But with the season we had, we've got to get better. That's what spring is for. The guys that are getting reps now, we're going to evaluate those guys.
“It's not going to be a situation where were dividing reps into 10 percent and 20 percent. We can't do that when it comes to the fall. We're going to have to narrow it down pretty quick.”
Howard looked sharp during scrimmages in the first open practice. Millard did not. The next week, Millard turned it around and Howard struggled at times.
“We knew from the end of the season it was going to be an open competition, and it was probably going to keep going until the fall,” said Millard, who completed 55.1 percent of his passes for 1,119 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions last season. “It'll be a long process.
“I think each year I've been here I've been able to grasp the offense at a higher level, in knowing where guys are all the time,” he said.
Trickett, a former Florida State transfer, completed 52.8 percent of his throws for 1,605 yards, seven TDs and seven interceptions in 2013. Neither he nor Howard have been cleared to speak with the media this spring.
Moore played two seasons at Division II Fairmont State before transferring. After sitting out the 2012 season, he spent 2013 as wide receiver playing mainly on special teams before switching back to quarterback.
“It's fun being back at the position I played my whole life,” he said. “I'm just trying to take in what I can, learn the offense and take advantage of my reps and do the best I can.”
Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter@BCohn_Trib.
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