by Jim Buzzerd
Last week I kind of stumbled through what I believed to be the status of the starting quarterback job for the West Virginia University Football Team. Admittedly, I had no clue how the quarterback battle was going and, one week later, I still don’t. New head coach Neal Brown has not been inclined to name a starter up to now. While media access to practices has improved from the Dana Holgorsen era, under Brown there are few beat writers who seem to have confidence in predicting a winner.
Is the battle really that close? Some cynics suggest Brown has delayed naming a starter until classes start in order to make it more difficult for the losers of the battle to transfer. Last week my general tone on the position was slanted negatively. Last Friday night there was a scrimmage under the lights, but media was not allowed to attend. It also stands to reason that this scrimmage probably settled a number of position battles, or at least established a next to final depth chart prior to next week’s opener against James Madison.
As I type this early Tuesday morning my hunch is we’re about to learn who has won the quarterback job. Brown has his weekly press conference scheduled later today and many are expecting him to announce the starter. While very little information has come from Friday’s scrimmage there was this Saturday morning Tweet from Mountaineer play-by-play guy Tony Caridi:“Consensus opinion coming out of last night’s scrimmage is that @WVUfootball team in general, and at quarterback specifically, took major steps forward. In short, it’s coming together.”
I’m sure we’d all like to know the specifics, but that bit from Caridi changes the general mood from negative to positive, at least for me, at least for now. It’s not clear if Caridi attended the scrimmage. One of the most difficult things about the college football pre season is that all the evaluation, all the way from the coaching staff down to the fans, is based on practice and scrimmage among yourselves. At some point I would expect the NCAA to allow some sort of pre season activity against other teams.
Signs point toward Oklahoma transfer Austin Kendall to be named the starter, but that is speculation loosely based on reports I’ve combed through in recent days. There is nothing on the record to actually support that notion.
Breaking news: Kendall may or may not be named the Mountaineer stater today, but it has just been learned that Bowling Green transfer QB Jaret Doege has been granted a waiver for immediate elegibility. He has 17 collegiate starts under his belt and can play four games this season and still redshirt. Stay tuned.