MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — William Crest’s one-handed stab during Wednesday afternoon’s practice brought hoots from his fellow West Virginia receivers
He possesses huge hands and a huge yearning to contribute in some capacity for the Mountaineers this season.
Playing quarterback hasn’t panned out for Crest at West Virginia, and neither has running back or safety. So it seemed only natural last Jan. 16 when the former four-star recruit announced that he was transferring. The surprising part followed four months later, when after looking into various FCS programs, Crest revealed May 15 that he was returning to the Mountaineers for his junior season.
That comeback may prove to be a blessing for West Virginia, where the receiving unit has four reliable starters and a pool of uncertainty backups in tow. Crest is vying to be among the functional backups, working in various packages inside and outside. His strong, physical build makes him useful blocking in the run game and on quick screens, but he’ll need to become a receiving threat to keep defenses honest.
“I can make him a guy,” receivers coach Tyron Carrier said. “I’m going to get him to the point where he’s going to be very serviceable for us.
“He has the biggest hands and he catches everything. It’s just getting him to the point where he know what technique to use in certain situations.”
The trickle-down effect of Jovon Durante’s absence could open up playing time for Crest, who remains one of Dana Holgorsen’s favorite players and remains hungry to make something out of his career in Morgantown.
“There’s certain things you do at receiver that you don’t have to pay attention to at quarterback,” Carrier said. “You can ask David Sills. It’s night-and-day.
“But Will is focused on learning, and I think he’s a kid we’re going to have to use a lot this season.”