Howard, Crest take turns while freshman QBs watch and learn

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — With his football team back from spring break and back in pads for the first time, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said he was “pleasantly surprised” at the pace and production from this week’s practices.

He, of course, was not surprised by the continued interest in the quarterback battle headed up by rising junior Skyler Howard and redshirt freshman William Crest.

“Skyler Howard is practicing at a very high level. He’s comfortable, and he understands what he’s doing,” Holgorsen told the MetroNews “Sportsline” crew on Wednesday night. “I’ve seen more out of William Crest than I’ve seen to ths date. He’s gotten a bunch of reps and things are starting to make sense to him.”

Howard appeared in four games last season and started the final two after a concussion sidelined Clint Trickett. Despite throwing eight touchdowns without an interception, Howard wants to improve on his 50.9-percent completion rate. Crest appeared in relief during the Week 2 romp over Towson and subsequently received a medical redshirt for a shoulder injury.

Through four practices, new recruits David Stills and Chris Chugunov are essentially stuck in freshman-orientation mode.

“They’re not repping as much as they want to rep right now just simply because their heads are spinning,” Holgorsen said. “The worst thing I can do for those guys is put them out there in a live situation when they don’t quite know what they’re doing yet. So we’re going to continue to teach those guys, prep them, and when we feel like they’re ready we’ll put them out there.”

The Mountaineers visit Shepherdstown on Saturday for a 1 p.m. practice—the first of three consecutive weekend sessions that are open to the public. The team will be in Morgantown April 11 and at The Greenbrier facility in White Sulphur Springs on April 18.

Watch Holgorsen’s complete “Sportsline” interview above to hear his take on the competition evolving at outside receiver and the defense making an impressive start.

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