There is a thought out there — and it is the middle of April, of course, and people are interested in selling all sorts of wares, whether in print or in hope — that Logan Moore is in the mix to play quarterback at West Virginia. We have extremes in that camp, as is the case when one is so bold, but there are some who think he can sustain his surge through the summer and then camp, and there are others who think he’ll be in a position to be available in the fall.
So one of our takeaways from the spring is that Moore gave WVU’s coaches a problem they must deal throughout this portion of the offseason. That’s a good development. Was he, or can he be, good enough to keep around at QB? Is he athletic enough and familiar enough with the offense that he could play receiver and shore up some depth, talent and productivity issues there?
That’s at least interesting and at most unexpected, no matter how it turns out in a few months.
I have no idea what the future holds because there are two other quarterbacks on the way, and to hear the coaches talk about them, they’re going to jump in line when they get a chance. More on that in a moment. For now, I have to think the coaches are more prone to trust Paul Millard and value Skyler Howard’s three years of eligibility over Moore. Then again, you could argue Moore has more experience against like competition, and I would listen. He’s certainly been around WVU’s offense longer.
I’ll say that at the end of the spring, Howard and Moore are probably a push. Millard is your “leader,” I guess. I thought he had a nice little Saturday, and I wasn’t alone in that opinion.
He was quick with the ball, he only got sacked once and he didn’t come close to turning the ball over, which is a sizable development. All that “he can be mobile, jut not that mobile” buzz was warranted, too. That nine-yard scramble matters, if only because it wasn’t a seven-yard loss or a fumble or a forced pass into coverage.
And afterward, I was struck by how comfortable he was with the situation and the competition he was about to enter in the void. Then again, why shouldn’t he be at home? Isn’t it basically the same as it was last year? Howard:Childress::Trickett/Crest:Trickett.
Anyhow, my Moore v. Howard evaluation is based on two extended glances and also subjective. This is not: Moore proved he was more than a practice arm. He can spin it and he made the offense better during the spring, and not merely because he made sure everyone got reps without gassing the other arms.
Everything is about to be shaken up in a big-time manner soon, though. The offensive coaches will meet and rank the three spring QBs based on their pros and cons. Coaches can later watch up to two hours of film a week as part of the new NCAA rule that gives coaches access to their players for eight hours a week for eight summer weeks. Then when camp starts, the five will be chopped down to two — maybe three — fast. “Probably within the first week,” Shannon Dawson said.
Dawson then offered up quick and frank spring-based scouting reports on Millard, Howard and Moore, but also divulged what the staff already knows and thinks about recovering Clint Trickett and arriving William Crest.
Dawson said Trickett was “our best quarterback we had last year when he was healthy.” Trickett was hurt in his first start, played injured in his second, didn’t tell anyone about a concussion later and missed the following game because of the concussion. Dawson said the staff is mindful of Trickett’s size and injuries and knows WVU “better have a backup plan.”
“He’s a light kid,” Dawson said. “That’s really the evaluation of him I had when I talked to him after the season. When he’s healthy, he functions pretty good. Look at the games he was healthy in. But when you start getting banged up, you can’t function at a high level. When he got banged up, he struggled.”
Dawson called 6-foot-2, 210-pound Crest, from Baltimore’s Dunbar High, the “unknown factor,” but was quick to say that won’t be used against Crest, even though he’ll have the fewest overall practice and game opportunities to make an impression. When allowed, Crest and Dawson talk regularly because Crest is trying to get as familiar as possible before he arrives.
“We’re definitely going to give that kid a chance,” Dawson said. “There are kids who can come in early and function in that role and there are kids who can’t. I don’t know what his, I guess, maturity mentally is. Physically, you can look at him today and I don’t know how much better he’s going to look four years from right now. That’s not going to be the issue with that kid, but mental maturity, can he handle the situations, can he handle the offense, that’s a question mark.”