MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — When three-star quarterback Trey Lowe committed to West Virginia in July, his best competing offers were Houston, Memphis and North Carolina.
That changed in the runup to December’s early signing period when four SEC schools extended last-minute offers.
“He had a lot of traffic coming in on him the past 72 hours, but he signed with the Mountaineers,” said offensive coordinator Jake Spavital. “I’m very fired up for that kid. He’s going to be here in January and he’s very eager to get to work.”
The grandson of former Alabama three-time All-American linebacker Woodrow Lowe who played 10 years in the NFL, Lowe ranks as the nation’s No. 20-rated dual-threat quarterback by Rivals. His father served as his high school coach in Bolivar, Tenn.
West Virginia suddenly appears well-stocked at quarterback, a drastic change from a couple seasons where Skyler Howard was the only game-ready option
Will Grier has put off the NFL for what should be a stellar senior season. Miami transfer Jack Allison is a former four-star recruit who becomes eligible as a redshirt sophomore in 2018. Chris Chugunov is gaining first-team experience in the wake of Grier’s hand injury.
And then there’s the 6-foot-4 Lowe, who surfaced on Spavital’s radar because so many of the other top quarterback targets “had millions of offers and were being over-recruited.” When the coach traveled to rural West Tennessee, he witnessed a player with organized training habits who oozed self-discipline.
“Trey ran his own workout and had a routine that he was throwing, so his work ethic was unbelievable,” Spavital said. “I thought the ball jumped out of his hand really good and his ability to make plays with his feet was exceptional.
“I think if he was in a large city, he could be one of the top kids out there. I see so much upside, so much potential.”
And thanks to a deep quarterback room, West Virginia can enact a patience approach. That’s a plus considering five Big 12 schools have started true freshman quarterbacks during the past two years, with Texas and Baylor starting two each.
“Now you’ve got time where you can put some development on Trey, so he doesn’t have to rush,” Spavital said. “With Will coming back, it allows him to learn by example. To see what are his answers, what are his checks and what is he doing in certain situations.
“Once Will leaves, you’re going to have a pretty healthy quarterback competition.”