West Virginia Football: Crest a “Jack of all trades” player?


West Virginia’s spring game brought about an interesting storyline in regard to the quarterback battle. Redshirt freshman quarterback William Crest may not even line up under center when the season begins.

In the spring games opening series, it was Skyler Howard who took the first team reps and after that David Sills and Chris Chugunov were worked in. It wasn’t until late in the first half did Crest see action at quarterback.

Howard’s very first pass of the day was a completion, but his target was an unlikely suspect. Crest caught Howard’s pass in the middle of the field.

Crest lined up as a slot receiver several times during the spring game. This came as a huge surprise to most, as Crest was expected to be in the running to be the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback this season.

Head coach Dana Holgorsen may have other plans, though. Perhaps he will be using the talented Crest as a “utility” player.

Not only did Holgorsen have Crest line up as a slot receiver, but on occasion Crest lined up in the backfield to take a screen pass or appear in the flat for a short reception. He was even seen fielding a punt during the game.

There’s no doubt Crest has a tremendous amount of athletic ability and could handle playing another position on the field, but is it a smart move?

During the Blue-Gold game, apparent starting quarterback Howard wasn’t sharp, despite Holgorsen singing his praise just last week. Holgorsen told the media Howard was the clear-cut front-runner and he stood by his statement as Howard took the majority of the first-team reps in the spring game.

Howard, however, missed a lot of throws as he and the other quarterbacks struggled with accuracy at times. Howard is probably the most knowledgeable in reference to knowing Holgorsen’s offense. He saw significant playing time down the stretch last season, but didn’t have an impressive showing during the spring game.

Crest saw very little time as a quarterback. He didn’t do anything significant with his chance either — but he was also not given the time Howard was.

Crest caught the game’s first pass and took a few short screens. Nothing jaw-dropping, but it was already mind-boggling enough to see him being used as anything except quarterback.

Whether this will be Holgorsen’s plan for the regular season — using Crest as a slot receiver, in the backfield or returning punts — or if he used this spring scrimmage as an experiment with his multi-talented freshman, that remains to be seen.

Either way, Holgorsen wants use Crest to the best of his (many) abilities.