Connect with us

Opinion

WVU Football 2024 Position Group Preview: Confidence of QB Room at High for Neal Brown Era

Published

on

WVU Football QBs Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol

There’s real confidence about WVU’s quarterback room for the first time during the Neal Brown era. There’s been hype before, but this is the first offseason fans and media are unanimously confident in West Virginia’s starting quarterback. Garrett Greene has sparked a newfound excitement about WVU football that’s been missing in the Brown era.

Greene’s emergence was one of the major storylines in 2023, and his success led to the Mountaineer proving their critics wrong and finishing 9-4 (6-3) with a Duke’s Mayo Bowl win over North Carolina.

Prior to the season, while some believed Greene could get the job done, the jury was still out on if the Tallahassee, Fla. native could be a complete quarterback. Greene showed he had the ability to burn defenders with his legs towards the end of the 2022 season, but many wondered if he could excel enough in the passing game. After learning at the Manning Passing Academy last summer, Greene demonstrated what he can offer, both on the ground and through the air.

And while he was certainly not perfect, and did have to learn the hard way to not let his emotions cost his team, Greene finished the season with 2,406 yards passing, 16 touchdown passes and just four interceptions. He also added 772 yards, 13 touchdowns and an average of 6.4 yards per rushing attempt with his legs.

WVU Football quarterback Garrett Greene scrambles against UNC in the Duke's Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 27, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / WV Sports Now)

WVU quarterback Garrett Greene scrambles against UNC in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Dec. 27, 2023. (Mitchell Northam / WV Sports Now)

But Greene’s impact extends far beyond the numbers. Greene established himself as the true leader of the team and was even praised by head coach Neal Brown for being a true competitor.

“We got a shot every week because of him (Garrett Greene),” said Brown after a road win at UCF in October.

A big reason some are expecting big things from West Virginia in 2024 is because of the belief in Greene and the experience he gained in 2023. It even appears that belief is shared by those in the national media.

PFF ranks Greene No. 7 on their list of the top 10 returning college quarterbacks and NBC Sports’ Eric Froton believes Greene can still reach another level.

“What’s stands out to me about Garrett is his true dual-threat skill set. Many athletic signal callers tend to rely on their legs when they need to make a play. Greene can fire a crisp 12-yard out on the field-side to Kole Taylor on 3rd and 10, or he can call a RPO and rip the defense for an explosive play on the ground,” Froton explained to WV Sports Now.

He then even added a prediction of sorts for the West Virginia offense in the first season of the new 16-team Big 12.

“I think 35 PPG is possible for WVU in the new, wide-open, Big 12.”

NBC Sports Analyst Explains Love of WVU QB Garrett Greene

The sky is truly the limit for what the WVU offense could look like after a full offseason of Greene building chemistry with the skilled players around him.

No matter what, durability will always be a. question that surrounds Greene based on his aggressive style of play. This issue even crept up last season. Fortunately for West Virginia, the defense stepped up and the Mountaineers won in spite of being without their leader and star signal caller. Obviously, that’s something Brown knows his team can’t rely on happening again.

If WVU were to lose Greene for an extended period of time, that likely means their season will go down the drain. But the only saving grace is there’s now legitimate experience behind Greene. Nicco Marchiol, once a four-star prospect pegged as the future of WVU football when he signed out of high school, will be back in the fold as Greene’s backup.

In 2023, Greene, who was lacking in overall experience, was backed up by a freshman. Now in 2024, WVU can take some comfort in the fact Marchiol did gain valuable work, most notably winning the Backyard Brawl after coming in early on to replace an injured Greene and then starting against Texas Tech.

WVU Football QB Nicco Marchiol

WVU QB Nicco Marchiol celebrates a huge play for the Mountaineers against Pitt. WVSN photo/Kelsie LeRose

Marchiol did go through growing pains when under center, but playing more than planned will serve him well moving forward if he needs to take over during an important game again.

It’s safe to say the Mountaineers are in a much better spot quarterback wise than they were at this same time last year. With that said, if Brown needs to turn to Sean Boyle, all hope is lost. Nothing against Boyle, but Brown has labeled him a “work in progress” too many times for anyone to be confident he could be ready for Big 12 action.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steve Amtower

    April 2, 2024 at 1:06 pm

    Marchiol was a redshirt freshman this past season, I believe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get WVSN in your mailbox!

Enter your email address to subscribe to WVSN and receive notifications of new posts by email.

COMPLETE COVERAGE