Football, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU football position preview: Mountaineers relying on homegrown crop of quarterbacks

MORGANTOWN — WVU’s crop of quarterbacks this season can best be described as home-grown. For the first time in 10 years, West Virginia will not play a transfer quarterback in 2023.

That decision was made early in the offseason as head coach Neal Brown definitively said the team believes in returners Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol.

“At decision-making time at the end of (last) year, watching them over the last three or four weeks I felt really good about what direction we needed to go and with the direction we needed to go, we had two really, really good candidates,” Brown said this spring.

The decision to not pursue a transfer has left the quarterback position inexperienced and a little thin. Greene, a junior, becomes the elder statesman in the room with only two starts and just over 100 pass attempts in his career.

“We didn’t go after a transfer because we believe one of those guys, if not both, can help us win football games,” quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan said. “I’m very pleased with where they’re at and I love coaching them.”
Reagan has moved back to coaching quarterbacks after mentoring the tight ends last season.

Greene appears to be the frontrunner to be the Mountaineers’ quarterback when the season beings after he provided a late-season surge to the team’s offense last season.

“I always know that Neal has trust in me,” Greene said. “Even if he did (bring in a transfer), me and Nicco are confident in our abilities to that (the starter) would be one of us.”

Greene’s ability as a dual-threat added a new element to the Mountaineers’ offense as he scored four rushing touchdowns across the team’s final three games.

“I feel really good about where I’m at, feel really good about where the offense is at,” Greene said. “It’s all about putting the pieces together and continuing to work.”

Greene’s two starts at the end of 2022 are the only start any WVU signal-caller has made. Marchiol, a redshirt-freshman, played in three games last season, attempting 13 total passes and leading the team to a win in its season-finale at Oklahoma State.

The highly-touted left-hander is the only thing that stands in the way of Greene being named the outright starter.

“I committed to Neal, Neal was the reason I came here, I trusted him, I trusted his belief in his system,” Marchiol said. “For him to say they’re not going to bring someone honestly takes a lot more stress off us. If he believes in us, then all we have to do now is execute.”

Brown has said that a decision on who will start week one against Penn State will not be made until the end of fall camp.

“This is going to be a deal where it’s going to be long,” Brown said at the beginning of spring. “Even if one goes on a hot streak for a week, we’re not going to make our decision based off one hot week. This is going to be a deal that goes through the summer and into fall camp.”

Rounding out the room are true freshman Sean Boyle and walk-ons Jackson Crist and Scott Kean.

Boyle, from Charlotte, NC, is the only other quarterback on scholarship and enrolled at WVU early this offseason to participate in spring practices.

“He’s come a long way,” Reagan said near the end of spring. “He’s getting better, he’s got a long way to go, but he’s come a long way.”

Crist, a redshirt-sophomore, and Kean, a redshirt-freshman, have not seen game action.

Projected Depth Chart
Garrett Greene, Jr.
Nicco Marchiol, R-Fr.
Sean Boyle, Fr.
Jackson Crist, R-So.
Scott Kean, R-Fr.
Grant Cochran, Fr.

The Dominion Post will be previewing WVU football by position in the lead-up to the 2023 season. Previews of offensive positions will be printed on Saturdays and defensive position previews on Sundays throughout the summer.

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