William Crest may never be QB with WVU football


William Crest came to the WVU football program in 2014 with intentions of being the team’s quarterback, sooner rather than later.

Two years later, he still might not assume the role at QB, in any capacity.

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Skyler Howard is the team’s starting quarterback. His potential and work ethic have gained favor in the eyes of WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen. Some struggles won’t land him on the bench. He is the team’s go-to guy and will remain in that role for his entire season season.

So, where does that leave Crest? The Baltimore native had just as much potential as Howard two years ago. After all, they both arrive on campus in Morgantown roughly the same time.

Crest had to deal with some injuries when he first suited up in the old gold and blue, thus receiving a medical redshirt in his first season. That may have slowed down his development, but he was still an integral part of the learning process of Holgorsen’s offense and the team’s main duties.

Now, as a rising sophomore, Crest may see an increased role in the WVU football offense. He won’t be a quarterback, though. That’s a quarterback, in the traditional sense.

Crest appeared in 11 games during the 2015 season, where the Mountaineers won eight games and captured the Cactus Bowl title in early January. In the Cactus Bowl, a 43-42 win over Arizona State, Crest made one catch for nine yards.

Yes, he made a reception; not a pass.

Crest should line up at wide receiver more often than not  in the 2016 campaign. He had four total receptions in 2015 for a total of 29 yards. His longest catch was that one in the Cactus Bowl.

So, he may not be a deep-ball threat like the WVU football team’s other top playmakers like Daniel Shorts, Shelton Gibson and Jovon Durante. Crest should be used on bubble screens, sweep passes and even handoffs. He could carry the ball from the backfield to mix things up, but he can also be used at quarterback, just not in the traditional sense.

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Like he did for a time in 2015, Crest can line up at quarterback, take a direct snap, and see where he can go upfield. In a wildcat scheme, Crest is the perfect fit.

Even though he, obviously, won’t be the starting quarterback in 2016, he will be competing for a spot as the main backup with Chris Chugunov.

Crest saw more true time at quarterback than Chugunov last season. In mop up duty, Crest saw the biggest chunk of his 2015 playing time against Liberty and Kansas, dominant wins by the Mountaineers.

He was 6 for 6 passing against Liberty and totaled 50 yards, hitting former receiver Jacky Marcellus for a 23-yard gain.

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This year, and next year, Crest likely will not have a pass that long, unless he is on the receiving end of it. Chugunov is the more prototypical passer, like Howard has been for West Virginia. Crest is the more athletic, when stacked up against Howard and Chugunov. Thus, he should be used in an offensive scheme where he can make the most plays.