MORGANTOWN, W.Va – Fall camp begins exactly two weeks from Monday for WVU football. While there are a number of starting roles up for grabs on both sides of the ball, the quarterback competition will take center stage this preseason.
Four players are in contention for QB1 – Georgia transfer JT Daniels, redshirt sophomore Garrett Greene, redshirt freshman Goose Crowder and freshman Nicco Marchiol.
There are a number of factors Neal Brown and his staff consider when analyzing any position, but the head coach said when you are scouting quarterbacks, it’s “all about feel.”
“If you are picking a left guard, it’s harder. A nose guard or a will linebacker, it’s more subjective,” Brown said. “But with a quarterback, it’s usually pretty clear.”
Just because it will be clear, doesn’t mean that is the case just yet. Brown said he isn’t putting a time frame on naming a starter at any position, especially the signal caller.
“I’m experienced enough to know not to put time restrictions on it because then you have to meet it, right? But I do believe it will be clear,” he said. “When it’s clear not only for myself but for (offensive coordinator) Graham (Harrell), our offensive players and our entire team, then we will name a starter.”
The decision-making process for that position differs from others due to the quarterback being “statistic-driven.”
Brown and his staff will be looking at things like accuracy, completion percentage, who has thrown the fewest interceptions and who has thrown the most touchdowns. There will be more data factored into the decision than at other positions, which is another reason the head coach believes it will be a clear choice once the competition heats up.
When it comes to other starting roles, there may not be as many statistical factors, but there will be different challenges due to the fact that most spots need multiple players to be game-ready.
“The thing that is different about a spear position than quarterback is at QB you are only going to play one. At spear or safety, maybe even right tackle, it could be a rotational position so you need more players ready to play,” Brown said. “That’s probably what’s different.”
While the head coach isn’t rushing to finalize the starting lineup, he’s aware of the urgency once fall camp begins on Aug. 1.
“You essentially have four weeks. Two weeks of camp, a mock game week then game week,” Brown said. “So you would like for a lot of those position battles to have an idea of who is going to play after the first two weeks.”