A week and a half into fall practice and not much has changed on the offensive side of the ball. The depth chart that WVU released via their 2016 media guide has stayed mostly intact. That includes the quarterback position, well for the most part.
“Skyler has the nod right now, the other two guys haven’t established themselves as the solid number two yet. It’s between those two though,” Holgorsen said of where the “backup” quarterbacks (Chugunov and Crest) stand so far. The most interesting aspect of Holgorsen’s answer though was who demonstrated the best attributes of the three.
“Will brings something to the table that the other guys don’t do, which is between the tackles running from a quarterback. Chugs probably has the best arm of everybody.”
Holgorsen has always hinted at redshirt freshman Chris Chugunov having one of the best arms on the team and Crest has always demonstrated he has the best running ability of any quarterback on the depth chart. So why the continued steadfast notion that Howard will not be challenged?
Howard remains the only quarterback on the roster with any significant amount of experience. The senior quarterback also brings something to the table that cannot be taught, ” I think what he brings to the table is grit and toughness.”
Howard has earned himself spots on numerous preseason watch lists including the coveted Maxwell Award Watch List (for America’s best college football player). Most importantly, he is looking the part of a senior quarterback, “He looks like a senior starting quarterback to me” Holgorsen said. “Everything makes sense. The signals and communication looks good. His checks are outstanding. You are starting to see timing with the receivers improve.”
While both Florida transfer Will Grier and freshman Cody Saunders have been impressive Holgorsen simply stated, “…it’s just not their time right now.” With Grier not being eligible until 2017 because of the NCAA transfer rule and Saunders will be redshirted this coming season; Crest will more than likely settle into the quarterback depth chart.
Holgorsen stated last week that he would like Crest to become less of a versatile player and dedicate to one position, “If you want to get great on offense then you have to get guys that settle in and specialize at something and just get great at that. He’s (Crest) playing a lot at quarterback than he is with running back or receiver.
When asked about where Crest has improved Holgorsen stated, “We’re getting better. I wish I could anoint him the next Heisman trophy guy. He’s young. He has three years to play. We’ll see where he continues to go. He’s taken a bunch of reps. We’ll see if he can get better.”
So moving forward the battle will remain for second on the depth chart in what will be a two-man race.