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.”