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Neal Brown, Graham Harrell speak on bringing a new offense to Morgantown

In 2021, WVU’s offense did not turn many heads. Other than star running back Leddie Brown rushing for over 1,000 yards, there was not a ton of success or excitement, except for a couple games here and there.

That all could change, as head coach Neal Brown went out and got his guy to be the new offensive coordinator, and that is Graham Harrell. 

Harrell, a former Heisman Trophy finalist at Texas Tech, knows a thing or two about exciting offenses, as he has knowledge and experience with an air-raid style of offense. Before coaching the offense and quarterbacks at USC, Harrell was at North Texas.  

North Texas, a Conference-USA team, ranked in the bottom 25 in offensive statistics such as points, passing, and total yards. By 2016, Harrell had turned around the North Texas offense after finding his quarterback in Mason Fine. The Mean Green had cracked the top 30 in yards per game, and this success landed him his most recent job with USC. 

Harrell had continued success at USC, as the Trojan offense ranked in the top 25 in total yards for all three years that he was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach. 

Harrell will now join Neal Brown’s staff and help give a new identity to the team’s offense in year four of the Brown era. 

Coach Harrell hopped on the Mountaineer Insider Podcast and spoke about what he can bring to the table for WVU. 

“I think more than anything, what I enjoy, what I can bring is just a confidence and an expectation to score. That’s kind of what we do,” said Harrell. “I think if you look at our track record, we’ve had a lot of success just about everywhere we go and a lot of it is just the mentality. We’re going to do things right, we’re going to hold these kids to a high standard, we’re going to expect a lot out of them, we’re going to hold them accountable, but at the same time, we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.” 

WVU head coach Neal Brown talked to the media following the hire and here’s what he had to say on the addition of Harrell. 

“I think when you make a change, there has to be real change,” Brown said. “Graham has been successful. He’s got a system that he believes in. A lot of the pass and run concepts he’s been using are similar to what we’ve been using and what I think we need to do is kind of thin down.” 

This hire is what many WVU fans were asking for, as it was apparent that Neal Brown had his hands full trying to run the offense and call plays, all while trying to do everything else a head coach needs to do.  

Coach Brown spoke on that matter in his press conference. 

“What I want to do is be a resource. This is where I’m at on it,” Brown said. “The college football landscape has changed. There are so many more hats you have to wear (as a college football coach). You can’t be an elite offensive coordinator and an elite head coach at the same time, so I want to be better as a head coach and to do that I’ve got to step away from the offense.” 

Harrell will now take over a West Virginia offense that ranked 88th in the nation last season. He will also be working with a new quarterback, as Jarret Doege has entered the transfer portal. This leaves Garrett Greene, Will Crowder, and freshman Nicco Marchiol to battle for the starting job for Harrell’s new offense. 

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