Who Has the Gunslinger? WVU or VA. Tech
The quarterback position gets examined between West Virginia and Virginia Tech amidst a rivalry renewed.
Looking position by position against the Virginia Tech Hokies, the Mountaineers fair favorably at the quarterback position.
The Mountaineers sport their newly acquired Florida transfer Will Grier. The Hokies will trot out their first Freshman to start the season since Tyrod Taylor.
Ever since the arrival and approval to play of Will Grier, the transfer has been an immense boost to West Virginia not only at the quarterback position, but to the entire offense. While Virginia Tech has focused on an ongoing quarterback competition this offseason, the Mountaineers have focused on grooming their number one guy.
Tech Head Coach Justin Fuente in his second year, just two weeks ago decided to name redshirt Freshman quarterback Josh Jackson the starter for the Hokies. While Jackson worked to separate himself from the competition, it divided first team reps between him, redshirt Junior AJ Bush and Freshman Hendon Hooker.
Amongst the Hokies coaching staff, Jackson has been praised for his leadership and his ability to run the ball, which is believed to give the Hokies a ‘schematic advantage’ according to Virginia Tech’s offensive coordinator Brad Cornelsen.
From a size aspect there is not much of a difference between Grier and Jackson. Grier stands at 6-2 214 lb, and Jackson at 6-1 215 lb. Jackson praised for his athleticism cannot be slighted nor underestimated because of his athletic and dual threat ability. The Mountaineer defense could potentially have trouble with a quarterback with little film. A linebacker or safety spy will be one of the best strategies to confuse the young quarterback. Jackson is proceeding former Hokie quarterback Jerrod Evans. Evans had a successful year as a starter passing for 3,552 yards 29 touchdowns, and rushing for 846 yards. Although that is the past, Jackson has received comparisons to Evans from Fuente and Cornelsen this offseason.
One area of the quarterback battle the Mountaineers are for sure winning, is experience. Despite Grier not playing a down for the Mountaineers yet, he has played a division one down. Grier has led a power five team as a freshman. Will it take time for the Davidson, NC native to knock the rust off? Sure, but do not expect for Grier to come across as overwhelmed.
Another thing about Grier, it is no secret he can sling the ball, but according to WVU coaches, the redshirt-Sophomore is not shy to speak on his quickness and athleticism. There were jokes made throughout camp about how Grier is not afraid to cut it and run it. With a year on the bench under Holgorsen and a training camp under his belt, Grier should have a pretty good grasp of the scheme thus far.
As things trickle down to backups, Tech has two backups that were prepared to be starters in Bush and Hooker. The Mountaineers have Chris Chugunov listed as the backup.