MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — How did Skyler Howard make the fast climb from FCS walk-on to a quarterback being pursued by several power-conference programs?

His junior college coach pointed toward a phenomenal season in which the 6-foot-tall Howard threw for 33 touchdowns and showed once more that prototypical height isn’t a necessity.

“There’s a lot of quarterbacks around college football and the NFL who are around 6 feet or under and doing a heck of a job right now,” said Tom Craft, head coach at Riverside (Calif.) City College. “So I think people are getting over the height factor, and I think he’ll do a great job at West Virginia.”

Craft joined MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline” on Thursday night to discuss Howard, who committed to West Virginia this week.

Howard enrolled last spring at Stephen F. Austin but didn’t foresee a path to immediate playing time or an immediate scholarship, so he transferred to Riverside and promptly threw for 3,151 yards and only six interceptions.

“I think West Virginia did their due diligence,” said Craft, pointing out how early contact made by WVU offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson became a persuasive factor. “Once West Virginia got in the mix, then here came Cal and then here came Utah—it just started to snowball.”

Craft said the chance to play in the Big 12 was vital for Howard, who had a stellar senior season at Fort Worth’s Brewer High.

“He was a University of Texas fan his whole life and he gets to play in front of his home state,” Craft said. Another major-college recruiter told the Riverside coach, “If (Howard) was two inches taller he’d be at the University of Texas.”

Howard plans to enroll at West Virginia in January where he’ll have four years to play three.

“I think he has really improved himself as a drop-back quarterback, going through his read progressions,” Craft said. “But he can extend plays with his legs. He’s not just a typical spread quarterback.”

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  • 5toldU1s

    A running quarterback is a beautiful thing

  • Fairport

    OH BOY OH BOY!!!!!!!!!! Our football team is being saved by a juco quarterback! We are the luckiest university in the country! His credentials stack up against all the QB's in the Big 12 or at least in CLASS A FOOTBALL IN WV! NEXT YEAR IS THE YEAR FOR WVU FOOTBALL!!!!

  • Kelly

    I am watching the North Dakota St. - Coastal Carolina FCS quarterfinal game right now at ND's stadium. Cannot help but notice the tremendous fan support they enjoy compared to mountaineer field is anymore.

  • master plan

    One player the mess will not fix. I bleed blue and gold-just putting it out there.

  • richard

    Maybe they could get Cato from Marshall. Doesn't he have another year that he could play even though he graduates this year.

    • OldSkool

      This kid plays a lot like Cato. He is very good at using his feet to avoid the rush and buy time to find the open receiver. Most of these throws were of the shorter variety. I believe he threw deep about three times on the video, each about 40 yards. On film, he beats Mallard and Trickett, but the jury is still out on Childress. Childress will require optimum pass protection to be successful, will the O line improve enough in one year to give him a shot? If not, the elusive guy gets the nod.

  • Bruce

    Hey, can he bring #34 with the tape again, that kid can scoot !!!!!

  • cpt obvious

    I've read Cato (herd) is coming to WVU... Anyone else hearing this? ??

  • Harpers Ferry

    Why does Dana only recruit black WR's?

  • Chris

    He will be here for spring practice we will see how he does. I watched his film looks good throwing the deep ball and runs well good footwork looks like he can read defenses. We may have got a steal in recruiting.

  • sandiegomountaineer

    View from the west coast: The coach, Craft, was head coach in the past at SDSU. The only thing Craft did well was coach/evaluate the QB's. So I would say this guy at the very least has some major potential.

  • Harpers Ferry

    Why does Dana only recruit white QB's?

    • MountieFan1948

      You are living proof that being a member of MENSA isn't a requirement to post on this site.

    • jarrod peters

      William Crest is not white genius.

    • Art in Ohio

      William Crest ...check him out..

    • Drew

      If you're going to make comments hinting at racism from our coach, or possibly yourself, you should at least have a clue what you're talking about. William Crest was our first qb commit this year, and he's black.
      Even if he wasn't coming in, just because our commitments are coming from white quarterbacks doesn't mean Dana isn't recruiting black players too.

      • Harpers Ferry

        Some people on here are so easy to troll!!!

        • Jim

          Hey Harper's Ferry, why are you trolling here anyways? If you're the kind of sad, pathetic loser who gets his kicks by going on the internet and saying outlandish things just to piss people off, you should give some serious thought to making several major changes in your life, because you are a broken human being.

        • wow

          Harpers Ferry, don't try to back out of your stupid comment now.

        • Hop'sHip

          But I have noticed he seems to only recruit male QBs. You might be on to something. Or maybe just on something.

          • Rock Solid

            @hopsHip: Some of Clint's throws look like he has the arm strength of a girl. Misses the receiver by three to five yards usually behind the receiver. So, who knows?

    • wow

      are you color blind or just stupid? Take your meds and spread your race baiting somewhere else. Dana looks at skills of QB not the race of the QB, now go back to sleep.

    • nate c

      William crest is black

    • mm

      And that right there wins the dumbest comment of the year award. All you have to do is go on ESPN and see last year he signed Chavas Rawlins who wasn't white, and a this year our top QB commit is William Crest who is also not white.

    • Harpers Dunce

      Hey, cool guy, William Crest is not white.

      You're lost.

  • reality check

    anyone can be made to look "good" on a "highlight" reel; get it?

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Ole Sasquatch stopped the video at the 5:00 min. mark.
    He will be the QB.
    What is not to like? Good footwork, snaps the wrist - good zip on passes, shows no fear. A lot of similarities to Doug Flutie.
    Maybe Shannon can recognize talent. I'm sold.

  • Rambling Wreck

    In two years, he'll be the QB at Fairmont State.

    • 4WVUinKY

      What are the winning numbers to this week's lotto?

  • I dunno

    Let's see how he responds to temper tantrums, rants, thrown headphones and getting yelled at.

    I'm serious. Some players don't respond well to that kind of coaching.

    • MountieFan1948

      Let's see. You only watch WVU football games on TV, and you've see, Coach Holgerson yell at his player or throw his headset. Now I realize that most football players are very sensitive, thin skinned people, I see why you're concerned about the coach yelling at them.Well, I hate to burst your bubble Polly Anna, but if you'd broaden your horizon, and watch a few other teams, you would see that it's pretty common for Football Coaches to raise their voices at their players. I understand you being upset, because you don't have a freakin clue about what happens on the sideline of a game - or the practice field for that matter.

    • tw eagle

      Trickett is the only one who seems to be able to "tune out" Holgersons lack of discipline . . . have you ever seen Trickett when coming to the sidelines , taking his helmet off and smiling broadly while Holgerson goes through his act . . .

      Holgersons' body language ( big point to him) , attitude , and deportment on the field of play belie a lack of mental discipline and a lack of maturity . . . Holgersons inability to adjust his game plans to game conditions , trying to force 'his will' on the WVU players and throwing 2-year-olds tantrums when he should be evaluating modifications to the play of the Mountaineers to win the game . . .

      these acts are saying he thinks his ideas are winners and the Mountaineers aren't good enough to execute them . . . COACH, you need to match your TALENTS with those of your team to win games . . . in this case , your team is much BETTER than you are . . .

    • jarrod

      Seriously, show me one coach that dont throw headphones as well as tantrums, and yell at players.