Cross Wilkinson sees stock grow for WVU football


The WVU football team will need a quarterback after this season as Skyler Howard will move on after a fine career with the Mountaineers.

There are currently other quarterbacks on the roster, including Chris Chugunov, Will Grier, Cody Saunders and William Crest Jr.

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There is already competition for the top backup spot and entering the 2017 season, that same arms race will heat up as a starting spot will become available. The future of the quarterback position looks to be bright for the WVU football program. The near future looks good and, within the next five years, the main signal caller spot should stay consistent.

In-state prospect Cross Wilkinson could be another piece to the puzzle to add quarterback depth in the next few years.

Wilkinson, a rising senior at Wheeling Park High School, was recently on campus to take part in the final WVU football prospect camp of the summer. Wilkinson, along with other keen players from around the country, came to Morgantown to run drills, work with new teammates and, hopefully, impress WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen and the coaching staff.

If nothing else, Wilkinson came across impressed with his experience on Saturday.

Wilkinson was part of the Wheeling Park state championship team in 2015. The Patriots won the West Virginia Class AAA title after going 12-1 and eventually knocking off Capital, 23-15, in the championship. In that game, Wilkinson completed 8 of 12 passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns.

Wilkinson has the pedigree to be a winner and he continues to develop into an elite high school quarterback. Wilkinson stands at 6-foot-1 and checks in at just under 200 pounds. He is a pro-style quarterback who likes to throw the ball, but he can also keep defenders on easy with his agility on the ground.

According to his hudl page, Wilkinson can run the 40-yard dash in 4.6 seconds.

His ability has garnered the attention of the top Division I football programs in the country, including West Virginia. His 247sports page lists Marshall, Kentucky, Pitt and Toledo as other interested  schools.

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The Mountaineers are the only program with “warm” interest. The others have been tabbed as “cool.” Once the high school season opens up next month, with Wilkinson’s Wheeling Park team heading to nearby Pittsburgh to take on Perry Academy on Aug. 26, more attention will be drawn to Wilkinson’s collegiate ability.

He is coming off a campaign where he compiled 2,249 yards through the air with a 63-percent completion percentage. He found his receivers, which included Division I signee Elijah Bell, 27 times in the end zone.

If Wilkinson ends up with the WVU football team, he could be one of the first Ohio Valley quarterbacks to play for the Mountaineers since Brad Lewis, a Shadyside, OH native, in the last 1990s and early 2000s.