On Thursday, WVU head football coach Neal Brown sat down and addressed the media for the first time in 2022.
Coming off a 6-6 regular season, along with a bowl loss to Minnesota, Brown had much to say about this year’s team.
In Brown’s opening statements, he alluded to the attitude of the players on this team.
“This is the hungriest team that we’ve had, it’s the most competitive team we’ve had,” Brown said. “From a group that’s where it’s supposed to be, doing what it’s supposed to be doing, this is by far the best group that we’ve had.”
In his opening statements, Brown made sure to touch on a topic that many WVU fans have been debating for a while, and that is the quarterback room.
The Mountaineers have three options at the position, and they are Garrett Greene, Will Crowder, and freshman Nicco Marchiol. Coach Brown talked about the three quarterbacks and what the future looks like.
“We’ve got three guys here in Garrett Greene, Nicco Marchiol, and Will Crowder that deserve the opportunity to show what they have,” Brown said. “So, we’re going to go through the spring and the belief is that one of them will take reigns of the job or we’ll get it narrowed down to two, and if it’s not the case, then we’ll go find a guy. There will be guys available, but I thought it was important for them and it’s important for the trajectory of this football team to let those guys have the ability to go out and compete in the spring, and so we’ll do that.”
Crowder and Greene both saw action last season for WVU, but their time was limited with Jarret Doege seeing most of the snaps. As for Marchiol, he is coming into WVU as a four-star rated, true freshman quarterback with lots of upsides, but no in-game college experience. It’s safe to say it will be an interesting battle for the starting job as the three quarterbacks get acquainted with new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell.
Another topic that Mountaineer fans have been talking about is the NCAA transfer portal. It’s no secret that WVU’s football program has been affected negatively by the transfer portal, as the Mountaineers currently lead the Big 12 in player departures over the last year.
Coach Brown spoke on the transfer portal and what he thinks of it.
“I’m inherently against the transfer portal,” Brown said. “We’re going to benefit. We’re going to benefit and we’re going to lose guys, just like everybody in the country that decides to do business in there, you’re going to gain some and you’re going to lose some.”
Coach Brown also talked about focusing on the players on the team, rather than the athletes who have moved on.
“The attitude I’ve taken is, ‘Hey, we want to coach the kids that want to be here,” Brown said. “So, let’s take what we have, and let’s coach them up as best we can, let’s create a great environment where they’re excited. Like I said, this isn’t knock to anyone that’s left, but our locker room, man, they’re hungry, they’re excited. They feel really good about what’s down there.”
As WVU enters year four of the Neal Brown era, there will be a lot to prove. Brown’s record at the helm for West Virginia is 17-18 with one bowl win and one bowl loss. The Mountaineers will feature a tough, but exciting schedule that includes two premier rivalry games on the road against Pitt and Virginia Tech, along with the Big 12 schedule.