MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Senior quarterback Skyler Howard may have struggled to show consistency last season, but it’s evident that he has evolved both mentally and physically during spring and summer workouts this offseason.
“You can’t cheat the grind,” Howard said following the team’s first treacherous Law School Hill training session last week. “It goes back to your habits on and off the field. If you skip out on those last few reps in the weight room, that’s gonna show in other parts. If you’re out the night before drinking, that’s also gonna show.”
Howard is most notably known for his endless heart and sheer desire to win. Though he capped off his junior campaign with seven regular season wins and an impressive Offensive MVP showing in WVU’s Cactus Bowl victory, the Texas native knows he has to do more in order to compel the Mountaineers’ towards the ultimate goal – a national championship.
“It all depends on the individual and how bad they want it,” he said. “If they wanna get better at something, they’re gonna get better. If they don’t and they don’t put in the work, then it’ll show.”
As announced last week, Howard’s 3,145-yard, 26-touchdown performance last season has earned him a spot on the coveted Maxwell Award Watch List (for America’s best college football player). Despite a swarm of doubt from non-believers on social media, Howard has a newfound emphasis on mentality that he hopes will lead him to success during his final season at WVU.
“Knowledge,” he said while pointing to his head when asked what’s the No. 1 thing he’s focused on right now. “It’s all up here for me right now. The spring was all feet, feet, feet and the mechanics part of it and I still gotta keep that stuff up to maintenance, but right now it’s all knowledge. It’s all up top.”
Howard has had the same encouraging tweet (from September of 2012) pinned to the top of his Twitter feed for quite some time.
Will this be his year?
Cover Image Credit: Steph Anderson Chambers – stephchambersphoto.com