MORGANTOWN, W. VA.– Last April, West Virginia head football coach Neal Brown announced that the battle for starting quarterback was still up in the air. Capped off by a spring game that split reps for three potential candidates, the game seemed to present more questions than answers for the offense.
Fast forward three months to July, at the annual Big 12 Media Day in Arlington Texas, and the race still stands up for grabs. Although many assume the battle will come down to Jack Allison, and Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall, coach Brown assured fans that it would become obvious when the battle had been won, and would be more indicative to the development of the winning quarterback.
“It’s not necessarily the coach choosing, it’s really one quarterback separating themselves from the others,” Brown said.
Although fans got a sneak peak of the new team during the spring game, the results of the game have to be taken for a grain of salt, as both offensive and defensive players were new to the system of Neal Brown and Vic Koenning respectively, and the team only had the maximum fifteen days of spring practice to get used to the new system. As Brown explained during his press conference, the battle will be taken into fall camp, and a decision has yet to be made.
Kendall, who completed 7 of 12 for 154 yards and a touchdown in the spring game, has only been at West Virginia for a matter of months, but as Brown explained, has done a great job assimilating with the program and the rest of the team, and has impressed with his physical traits as well.
“He’s grown as a leader, and I think he’s become more comfortable,” said Brown. “He’s done a really good job blending in with his teammates.”
Jack Allison, who contributed 11 of 24 for 112 yards, has been part of the Mountaineers since his transfer from Miami in April of 2017, and contributed backup quarterback snaps along with a start last year, most notably in place of Will Grier in the 34-18 loss to Syracuse in the Camping World Bowl.
“(Jack) can make every throw. Really good arm talent, and strong. Things didn’t exactly go how he wanted to (in the bowl game), so I think that allows (Jack) to grow, and I think that has allowed him to prepare better to be a starting quarterback,” said Brown.
Only time will tell which direction coach Neal Brown decides to go in, and who will lead the team under center in the first game of the season against James Madison on August 31st. But for now, we will just have to wait, as it has been made very clear the competition is far from over.