MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Because the groundwork for Wednesday’s signing class was months, and in some cases, years in the making, Dana Holgorsen recounted a relevant bit of history from January 2013.
It involved West Virginia’s newly re-hired assistant Lonnie Galloway and Holgorsen’s mandate to make 2014 quarterback target William Crest a top priority.
“When Lonnie got hired a year ago, his first duty was to head straight to Dunbar High School in Baltimore to make sure we get William here on campus,” Holgorsen said.
Of course Crest made it to campus, committed to WVU last April and signed with the Mountaineers on Wednesday afternoon. The four-star dual-threat quarterback, who won three high school state championships, will arrive in June facing monumental expectations.
“Clearly we have a need at quarterback,” said Holgorsen.
And clearly Mountaineer Nation expects Crest to fill that need, if not next year then soon after.
While Holgorsen sounded reluctant to praise a player who has yet to enroll, he rained superlatives on Crest nonetheless.
“His skill set is great, personality is great, leadership is great. Home life is phenomenal,” the coach said. “He’s athletic, he’s got broad shoulders, he’s got a strong arm.
“What’s the adjustment period going to be from a mentality standpoint, from a knowledge standpoint? I can’t say until we actually start coaching him.”
And considering Crest’s teammates took to calling him “Little Geno,” WVU fans can’t wait to see him in action.
As Clint Trickett recovers from shoulder surgery, WVU will have only two healthy quarterbacks for the start of spring drills—senior Paul Millard and sophomore junior college transfer Skyler Howard.
Trickett stands “an outside chance” of being cleared for the final 12 spring practices, which Holgorsen said are scheduled for when the team returns from spring break.
Millard and Trickett combined to start 10 games last season when West Virginia slogged to a 4-8 finish. Presumably the frontrunners to win the job next fall, they could be challenged by the undersized new guy Howard.
“Those guys’ performance wasn’t good enough (last year),” Holgorsen said. “It needs to get better or somebody passes them.
“Skyler’s here now, working out with the guys, throwing the ball around. The good news is his idol is Russell Wilson, for obvious reasons, so he believes he’s got the skill set to be successful. I’m really excited about coaching him.”
What about the potential for a scheduling conflict, considering Millard is practicing with the Mountaineers’ baseball team?
“It won’t affect anything on our end,” Holgorsen said crisply. “Football kind of pays the bills. He hasn’t and won’t miss anything around here.”