MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Today completes the eight-day video series providing a position-by-position examination of where the West Virginia football team stands after spring practice.

We scoured the two-deep and scrutinized the roster for any and all contributors as the Mountaineers turn their offseason attention to the 2014 opener against Alabama.

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THE LINEUP
Tue., April 15
 Defensive line: Can no-name group hold the front?
Wed., April 16
 Linebackers: Will they be nasty or negligible?
Thur., April 17
 Secondary: Trying to reverse two dreadful years of pass defense
Fri., April 18
 Special teams: Aiming to be really special in 2014?
Mon., April 21
 Offensive line: Are the Mountaineers vulnerable up front?
Tue., April 22
 Receivers: Can they get their swagger back?
Wed., April 23
 Running backs: Is this the best unit in the Big 12?
Thur., April 24
 Quarterbacks: Can any of the current QBs win eight games?

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Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Junior college transfer Skyler Howard endured a bumpy month of spring practice at West Virginia.

 

Projected starter: Without taking snap during spring practice, Clint Trickett (6-2, 175, redshirt senior) managed to extend his lead in the quarterback battle. That’s because none of the other contenders showed enough consistency or playmaking ability in his absence.

Trickett started seven games in 2013, a season hampered by a shoulder injury that required postseason surgery, a concussion suffered against Texas and communication problems that prevented Dana Holgorsen’s uptempo attack from gaining traction. He wound up completing only 52.8 percent of his passes—lowest among last season’s three QBs—some of which was attributed to Trickett attempting far more downfield throws. That flat touchdown-to-interception ratio (he had seven of each) needs to improve dramatically next fall.

Backups: Though the post-spring depth chart lists three quarterbacks in the No. 2 spot, Paul Millard (6-2, 230, senior) would be the guy behind Trickett. He showed some spark out the bullpen last season, throwing for 259 yards in three quarters of action during a 47-40 overtime loss to Texas. Millard’s lack of arm strength doesn’t create downfield concerns for secondaries and he’s an easy target for pass rushers, yet he’s clearly the best of the backups.

Skyler Howard (6-0, 200, sophomore) may evolve into a capable Division I quarterback but his spring struggles revealed the junior college transfer has miles to go. At least he exhibited better decision-making in the Gold-Blue game, spotting checkdown receivers as opposed to bogging down plays when the pocket collapsed.

Former walk-on Logan Moore (5-11, 198, redshirt senior) made enough plays to become a legitimate backup candidate, though anything beyond a wildcat-type usage in the fall would be shocking.

True freshman William Crest will likely become the most talented quarterback on the roster upon arriving this summer, but he’ll require time—perhaps an entire redshirt season—to develop.

Watch the video at the top of the page for player highlights and to learn how Allan Taylor and Justin Hoff grade the quarterbacks after spring practice.

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Comments

  • Donald Powell

    A wise man once wrote..... "If you tell me you have two quarterbacks then you're really telling me that you have none."

    If that is true, what would he say about four?

  • TruthTeller

    Eight wins is possible. If you look at the schedule and if the offensive line can give
    our QB the time and open holes for the run attack.Texas has a new coach. That could be
    a road win. I think WVU will be ready for Maryland which they were not last year. The Oklahoma game is a possible win at home.
    The Kansas loss last year was a fluke. WVU should win that one, TCU is a possible win, Kansas State could go either way. Iowa State loss last year was also a fluke. Worst case WVU could finish 6-6 or 7-5 but 8-4 is possible.

  • Mountain Navy

    I don't care if the QB is the best in the NCAA. Until the defense is fixed no one will win 8 games.

  • Yogi Wahoo

    When there is talk in April about lack of choice at QB then there will probably be talk in mid November about another 3 to 4 win season and it's consequences. Luck has run out ..or needs to be run out. Get over yourself Ollie you have failed here ...that's why Texas did not want you. Go back to soccer or WNBA or even become a pro wrestling manager...but just go away..quickly.

  • Rick55

    Facts are facts, regardless of the source, as long as they're accurate.

    As for the point, you can decide for yourself.

    Or maybe it has no relevance to our quarterback situation whatsoever. If so, my bad.

  • 1olewvufan

    I truly believe Moore will be Trickett's back-up, and Howard could possibly be Crest back-up. Howard will never start at WVU.

  • mad hatter

    trickett is like a pretzel, ready to snap at any time... he's just too fragile, and we'll be playing millard within three games of the season.
    BTW, and it doesn't take a genius to make this call, that we'll be 1-3 to start the season.
    And with this, Holgie will lose the team earlier than he ever has, and this season will be more disappointing then we have experienced in several yrs. and yes, holgie will come back for the 2015 season as HC.
    Luck hired him , he wont fire him and admit a huge mismanagement and mistake to the wvu athletic program and future of the mountaineer nation... i only hope that i am totally wrong.

    • TruthTeller

      Dude you are terrible. He can't help it he has Celiac Disease. I have it as well. You have no idea what you are talking about. He has trouble putting on weight because he does not get all the nutrients and minerals from the foods he eats. That does mean he does not have the ability to be a good quarterback. He just needs
      a solid offensive line to protect him.

  • FNP

    And for the record, in the last 10 years who have we had that is considered a Top Quality True pocket passer (other than Geno)? Pat White was a dynamic football player who put the work in and it showed. He will go down as one of the most exciting football players of all time. But he wasnt a pocket passer. Brown? Get out of here. Rasheed? Had a good year in 2004. Bulger was a good QB but went injuries plagued him after college and he never turned the corner. Major Harris? He's there with Pat as being one of the most dynamic to ever play the game. Injuries put a stop to his success. Hostetler is the last big time pocket passer to come out of WVU.

    My point is....everybody think that in the last two years we have just stopped getting dynamic QB's. We've always had QB's who fit the system and played within the system. Thats what Major, Pat, Geno, etc did while at WVU.

    I think Trickett will start this year and if he stays healthy, he will be our QB. He will put up some good numbers and we'll win some games if we can limit the turnovers. Crest is our future and the "dynamic" QB we've been looking for. The key is being patient with him and allowing him to learn the system. The last thing you want to do is throw him in against Alabama because that could be detrimental to his college career. He needs a redshirt year to study the scheme and he'll be your starting in 2015.

    • Aaron

      Excellent post regarding the history of our QB's. WV has never recruited GREAT QB's but somehow has a history of above average players having great seasons at the position. Some, like White and Harris chose WVU for the opportunity to play the position while others like Hoss and Kelchner transferred in for the opportunity to play.

      In this system, average QB's look good and good look great thus Holgorsen needs to find a good QB. If he stays healthy, I think Trickett can have that type of year. It will be interesting.

      As to the future, Holgs could "out recruit" other schools by not pulling an offer while a guy sets in jail but the the same nimrods who think MU out recruits WVU cries over basketball recruits so I'm not so sure that will work.

  • FNP

    All you need in this system is a QB who can get rid of the ball. We have enough play makers who can score at any given time. Like i've said before, they need to learn that 3 shots down field arent a good thing. They need to dump the ball off underneath and get the WR & RB's in space. Then the shots down field start to open up more. Ask Tavon and Stedman how that worked out for them. It more than doubled their production the next year. Geno played within the system and it showed.

  • Justin

    Hell no, 8 wins would be amazing. Trickett and Millard are not good QB's, add to that a bad O line and we get another terrible season.

  • cutty77

    Clint Trickett could win 8 games with Morgantown High. I don't think he even threw for 8 TD's last year. Somebody check me on that. I maybe off,but not by much.

  • WVU FAN

    great stuff guys, I loved the break down on our team. I guess on an over grade as a team we walk away with a passing grade C+.

    Now we know what we have, what about our opponents?

    I guess we know Texas will not play for a national championship this year so I guess grading them off of WVU getting a C+ coming out of spring
    We'll start with Texas (remember this is all based on WVU grading out as team as a C+)

    1. Texas -( B+) (Charlie Strong brings toughness & will not beat himself with trying to do to much)

    2. Oklahoma- A+ (Stoop Brothers have the best team in the country next year & if not country Big 12)
    3. Baylor- A (team & school needs to learn how to be a winners when you are supposed to win) I see Baylor 10-2 Great season

    4. Oklahoma State-- A (To much Talent to to be Good ) 10-2 or 9-3

    5. K-State - B (strong "D" and will make you beat them- Mental toughness better then WVU)
    9-3 or 8-4

    6. WVU - C+ (could be putting something together with Clint as QB " Old school coach's son from WV" & second year in program but can he stay healthy?) but if Skylar can come on as the #2 QB and lead this team to first downs
    7-4 or even better Really depends on how well the team comes together this summer...

    7. who care? Texas Tech B- 7-5
    8. Who care? Iowa State B 6-6
    9. Who cares ? TCU C+ 4-7
    10. Who cares ? Kansas B 4-7

    ** Note Paul Millard needs to be a better mentor to Crest then he was towards Childress "TEAM FIRST MENTALITY" for this team to become great they need to be great leaders to one another " Hold the rope" "spot the ball"

    Let's GOOOOOOOOOOOO!! Mountaineeeeeers!!!!!

    • Tyrone

      So i guess that u have Baylor taking this thing this year as you left them out of this comment

    • notorious

      It's Millard's fault that Childress turned out to be a bum?

      I needed a good laugh today.

  • 1olewvufan

    I do agree that Trickett will be the starter, but I truly believe that Logan Moore has a legitimate shot at being the No. 2 QB. Moore is more mobile and has a better arm than Millard. Howard is way too far behind the learning curve.

    I truly doubt if Howard will ever be the starter at WVU. Crest should be the starter in 2015.

  • Rick55

    Quotes from Wikipedia for your consideration:
    "Quarterback Graham Harrell led the nation in total offense....quarterback Cody Hodges was # 2 in the nation....quarterback Case Keenum led the nation in total offense as a sophomore ( and as a) junior....(Keenum) would go on to become the all- time leading passer in college football....quarterback Brandon Weeden became the first OSU quarterback ever to earn first- team all Big 12 honors. He was also a finalist for the Manning Award...."

    • BR

      Hey Rick - using "Wikipedia" as any kind of reliable reference tells me all I need to know about your post -

      I quit reading after that third word.

      Hope you were able to make your point, but I kinda doubt it.

      • Donald Powell

        You didn't stop reading after the third word and you know it ...you read every word he wrote

    • notorious

      That doesn't change the fact that we have bad QBs on this team.

      That also doesn't change the fact that the DH has yet to recruit a serviceable D1 QB.

      Millard, Childress, Rawlins, Howard, Trickett = Holgy on the hot seat.

      • 1olewvufan

        I have to agree!

        When Holg came to WVU he stated he would never bring in more than one QB a year. Holg in his first year brought in Millard (TX); in his second season he brought in Childress (TX); in his 3rd year he brought in Rawlins (PA) who left after 1 term and later he brought in Trickett in the same year. Then this season he brought in Howard and Crest. Holg had 4 offers out to QBs for the 2015 season.

        Holg's one QB a year backfired on him, and did little to help the football team. However, if he can get 3 QBs in 2015 and continues to do this, WVU may be good for QBs by 2016 at least until he reverts back.

        • TrueWVU

          Dana's a great offensive mind but looks to be inept at recruiting QB's, all the way down to the walk-ons. He has guys on this roster that didn't even start at their own high school.

  • Rick55

    VaultHunter
    You may be correct to some degree about RichRod's philosophy about fitting a round peg into a square hole but let's be real- without Pat White as QB we're not scoring all those points. And if you'll remember RichRod had no intention of starting PW. He only got in because the starter-a drop-back passer if there ever was one- got injured.

    • ole sasquatch

      It should be mentioned here that Rich Rod had an offensive line coach name of Trickett - yes, Clint's dad, a native W.V., X- Marine, and the offensive line Coach for Florida St. and we all know what they done last yr.
      Let's hope Crook can put last yr's. performance behind him and match what he was involved in at Stanford.
      It is probably more likely that the key to our season revolves more around the offensive line than anything else. NOT THE QB.
      That is why we can't let Crook off the Hook.
      He has the chance to be the hero of the season. Good Luck - Coach Crook

      • pat

        You sir, are correct. Seems to always come down to OL play.