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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Comments

  • 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?

    • Harpers Dunce

      Hey, cool guy, William Crest is not white.

      You're lost.

    • 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.

    • nate c

      William crest is black

    • 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.

    • 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!!!

        • 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

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

        • 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.

    • Art in Ohio

      William Crest ...check him out..

    • jarrod peters

      William Crest is not white genius.

    • MountieFan1948

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

  • 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.

    • jarrod

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

    • 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 . . .

    • 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.

  • Doug

    Looking at the clips, maybe DH should be recruiting a couple of the receivers, as well.

  • Big Larry

    Well, Well Well...

    This kid looks pretty good. It appears that Tricket, Ford and Millard have turned out to be a bust.

    Great recruiting...Three (3) more quarterbacks who have bit the dust.

    • kinduvabigdeal

      Dana didn't recruit Millard or Trickett. And Ford played in two games, one injured. You can't call him a bust yet.

      This kid will probably be the next qb at Fairmont State, but it's a lottery when it comes to Air Raid quarterbacks - play a lot of tickets and hope one hits. It's the same everywhere really.

      • YupYupMan

        Shannon Dawson recruited Millard to SFA. Dana hired Shannon. Shannon was allowed to bring Millard. So Dana sorta kinda recruited Millard.

      • YupYupMan

        And Dana definitely recruited Trickett.... This was his first year here.

    • jarrod

      In all fairness, Ford has only played 2 games and one of those he was hurt

    • MountieFan1948

      Millard was recruited under Stewart's watch. One commenter said he was Dawson's boy, and he came with Dawson, but I can't verify or deny this. Holgerson did want Ford, but as most know, he was hurt in the 2nd game, and basically out for the remainder of the season. So, WVU had Millard and Ford - one who backed up Geno Smith (there was a reason Millard didn't play much, and it wasn't because the coaching staff wanted to leave Geno in for every play). Ford was a Freshman, and with Geno and Paul ahead of him, the smart thing to do was red-shirt him for the future - which they did. This past pre-season, Milliard didn't really shine, nor did Ford, so the Coaching staff was looking for someone with some playing experience and ran across Trickett. After all, he had backed up 2 excellent QB's at Florida State and had some game experience. Unfortunately, Trickett was late in coming to Morgantown and didn't participate in Spring practice. If one remembers, he had a rocky start in learning the WVU "Air-Raid" system. The coaching staff had 2 QB's to go with after Ford got hurt in the Georgia State game. I my opinion, except for the Oklahoma State game, our QB leadership and play was bush league quality. In my not so humble opinion, there will be quality QB competition this coming year between Childress, Howard, and Crest. I think WVU just might red-shirt Crest unless he really shines in Spring practice, and it will boil down to Childress and Howard as the starter and backup, with Trickett 3rd string.

  • Truthteller

    I think WVU has to look for very tall and athletic players in order to compete in the Big 12. WVU needs very tall, fast and athletic receivers, safeties and cornerbacks. Also Big 12 defenses right now don't know how to handle a dual threat QB. Any team that has a very talented passer and runner type QB has an advantage in the Big 12. Kind of the same way the SEC defense is having problems against the likes of Johnny Manziel. Notice how much success WVU had with Major Harris, Rasheed Marshall, and Pat White.

    • Boomgrounder

      Great idea Captain Obvious! Will the next Johnny Manziel, Major Harris or Pat White step right up, you're the next starting QB at WVU!.......Crickets.........
      These guys only come around once a decade and they're hard to find and even harder to recruit to your school because everybody wants them now.
      Come On Man!

    • kinduvabigdeal

      Wow. Why didn't I think of that. This whole time we've been looking for slow, fat, short guys. Noted...

    • jarrod

      Great points!

    • WV Alum

      Tall like Tavon, right?

  • Ghost

    I normally dont get all fan boy over some highlight reels from high school, but this kid looks pretty legit. He can throw, he can pass, he makes good decisions. Im excited, if he can learn DH's system and perform at the D1 level, we might have something special here.

  • Neil

    He looks really good. He will be the next QB.

  • Ricardo

    We just might have a true QB competition going on in Morgantown, REAL SOON!

    • scott

      im not sure they'll be much of a competition if ya know what i mean

  • John Brown

    .... and mostly, he's capable of doing in college what one is suppose to do--- achieve passing grades.......

  • richard

    wow. is this guy for real? he actually has some feet, moves and an arm. hope he can pick up the offense quickly. WVU might have found a jewel amongst rocks.