If you have the nickname “Goose” you’re bound to attract some attention. If you also happen to be 6-foot-3 and can throw a good deep ball, you should expect to attract a lot of attention.
That has been the case for Gardendale High School quarterback Will “Goose” Crowder in over the last year or so. When Crowder announced his verbal commitment to West Virginia on Tuesday, he had 23 scholarship offers.
Gardendale’s head coach, Chad Eads, saw this as no surprise.
“He looks like he’d play quarterback in a movie, good looking, tall kid,” Eads said. “When you meet him he just carries himself different and you kind of forget that he’s 18 years old.”
Eads has coached Crowder for the last two years and said from the very beginning he thought he could be a division I quarterback.
“He prepares like he’s a much older kid,” Eads said. “When you met him as a sophomore, you’d think he’s a sophomore in college. He’s got great knowledge of the game, wants to learn more, wants to know all about it.”
Crowder threw for 2,600 yards and 22 touchdowns as a junior, he added 500 more yards on the ground. Eads thinks West Virginia could be the perfect landing spot for Crowder.
“When we were going through the recruiting process, I thought he was a Big 12, Pac 12 kind of quarterback,” Eads said. “I think those two are very similar in you see guys that are very athletic and can run. You don’t see the real big quarterback that just stand there in the pocket.”
Gardendale’s football team, located in Gardendale, Alabama, plays in the second-highest division of Alabama high school football and in what Eads thinks is the toughest district in the state. The Rockets went 8-4 last season, losing in the second round of the playoffs.
Eads said the team is not full of big-time, division I talent, but that Crowder helps them be successful.
“He’s one of those quarterbacks, he affects every part of the team. He kind of understands what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are and he helps us with both.”
Crowder’s ability to create might be the best aspect of his game according to Eads.
“I think he’s got a great arm and runs well,” Eads said. “I don’t know if he’d ever been somebody’s option quarterback, but he’s got elusive speed and he can physical when he needs to be. So he can help you a lot when things go bad in the passing game, he can make something positive out of nothing…Where he helps us the most is when he drops back and nothing’s open and he just makes something out of it.”
Crowder committed early in part because he did not want his recruitment to be a distraction for his team this upcoming season and in part because he intends to graduate in December and enroll early in college next Spring.
That takes care of rhte 6-foot-3 quarterback part, as for the nickname “Goose”, Eads said it comes from the movie “Top Gun”. Crowder has two older brothers and Eads said they all picked nicknames from the movie. Despite “Goose” dying in the movie (spoiler), apparently Crowder thought it was the coolest name so it’s the one he chose to go by. Eads said that makes him, in turn, “Maverick”.