It's hard to believe that the last high school quarterback that was a full-time starter at West Virginia was Geno Smith in 2012. Since then, it has been a bevy of transfers both in the Dana Holgorsen and Neal Brown eras. Following Smith was Clint Trickett who transferred in from Florida State, Skyler Howard (JUCO transfer), Will Grier (Florida transfer), Austin Kendall (Oklahoma transfer), and now Jarret Doege (Bowling Green transfer).
For the first time in a long time, it looks like that streak of transfers is in danger of coming to an end which in all reality is a good thing. To bring in a veteran through the portal is nice and all but to recruit and develop your own quarterback is an even better situation because you get a full four to five years to work with them, at least in most cases.
Redshirt freshman Garrett Greene and true freshman Will "Goose" Crowder are the only other scholarship quarterbacks on the roster. Nicco Marchiol, a top 2022 recruit, will be on his way to Morgantown next season.
Of the three, Greene appears to be in the best position to takeover the starting role next year assuming that Doege does not take advantage of his extra year of eligibility also known as the COVID year. Greene gives WVU a completely different set of skills to work with by being a dual-threat quarterback. Skyler Howard was the last starting quarterback that West Virginia had that you could consider a "dual-threat". Sure, Skyler wasn't the fastest by any means but they weren't afraid to let him run the football.
This past weekend, Greene got an extended look during the 66-0 blowout win of FCS Long Island and gave fans something to be excited about. Now, of course, success was expected in this game but seeing how he handles his emotions in a live game setting was something the coaching staff was wanting to see the most.
"I think it was a mixed bag," head coach Neal Brown said of Greene's performance. "First of all, I was really proud of him because he tends to get really excited and I thought he handled himself really well in that regard. I remember when he played against Eastern Kentucky last year he got a penalty one time. I thought he was under control and I thought he showed some maturity."
Greene's excitement can be contagious but as a young quarterback, he has to learn how to temper those emotions so that he stays even-keeled throughout the duration of a game. Greene rushed for 98 yards and two scores but Brown said he should have thrown the ball a few more times when he had the option to.
"I thought his run decisions were really good when he decided to run. He missed some pre-snap reads that he probably should have thrown four or five more passes in the RPO game. His vision when he scrambled, I thought was really good. He had a great throw down the field. With him, it's going to be a mixture. You don't want to contain what the best thing is about him which is his ability to freelance and ability to make plays on the run. But you also don't want him breaking out every single time. So, we're working on finding kind of a happy medium. The encouraging thing is the things that weren't exactly what we want, we can get corrected."
Following the game, Brown stated that the coaching staff would find a way to use Greene moving forward if his play warrants that he should get an opportunity in certain situations. For now, Doege will continue to be the Mountaineers' starting quarterback but don't rule out the possibility of a few wrinkles being added to the offensive gameplay this week that include the use of Greene.
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