Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU hits first snag in quarterback competition

MORGANTOWN — WVU football’s starting quarterback battle hit its first snag on Tuesday as both signal-callers really struggled for the first time this spring.

“Probably our worst day at quarterback (Tuesday),” quarterbacks coach Sean Regean said after practice. “But up until (Tuesday), I have been very, very pleased with where we are at the position. They’ve come a long way.”

Reagan said the two players vying for the starting job, Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol, struggled with accuracy and decision-making during the team’s penultimate spring practice Tuesday morning. 

“Our eyes were not in the right place,” he said. “We’ve really focused all spring on our eyes being where they need to be and they’ve done a really, really good job with that until (Tuesday).” 

Although Tuesday’s performance was sub-par, it just gives the duo a chance to rebound on Thursday.

“I love that room and the way they bounce back,” Reagan said. “If they have an off day, they usually bounce back pretty strong, so I would expect them to come out lights-out on Thursday.”

Reagan is back coaching the quarterbacks this season after serving as tight ends coach in 2022. He said it was natural moving back to a position he’s coached for more than 20 years and was excited to get to work with Greene and Marchiol.

Despite neither one being a full-time college starter before — Greene started the final two games last year — they’re the only dogs in the race for the starting job this spring.

“We didn’t go after a transfer because we believe one of those guys, if not both, can help us win football games,” Reagan said. “I’m very pleased with where they’re at and I love coaching them.”

Greene, a rising junior, saw the most playing time of his career last year, playing in nine games with two starts. He completed 55% of his passes for 493 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions. A true dual threat, he also ran for 276 yards and five more scores.

Without an outside transfer being brought in, this is the first spring where Greene is truly competing for the starting job.

“Garrett’s got all the energy in the world,” Reagan said. “What that’s done is, with age, he’s matured and taken that energy and turned it into leadership. That’s gone a long way for him.”

Marchiol redshirted last season as a true freshman, but saw time in three games, completing four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. He led the team to a win in the season finale at Oklahoma State, playing the entire second half.

“He’s got the traits,” Reagan said. “He’s coming out of his shell and he’s getting more and more comfortable around the team.”

Head coach Neal Brown has said that the starting quarterback battle will last long past spring practices and stretch into the summer and fall. Reagan sees it the same way.

“If they keep battling the way they’re battling right now, it’s going to be a tough decision,” he said. “Both of those guys are executing at a high level. It’s going to come down to who is more detailed most of the time.”

The team’s final spring practice will be Thursday and Saturday will be the annual Gold-Blue spring game inside Milan Puskar Stadium.

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