WVU Head Coach Neal Brown: QB Competition, Gap Filling To Continue Through Fall Practice
ARLINGTON, Texas – West Virginia head coach Neal Brown hit some familiar themes in his first appearance as a head coach at Big 12 Media Days, and noted that, as expected, the competition for the starting quarterback position has not had any movement over the summer. Transfer Austin Kendall and incumbents Jack Allison and Trey Lowe will go into the fall with the job still open.
“We’re going to take it into fall camp. Like I told you during spring ball, when we know we will know,” said Brown. “It will be clear. I think that’s the way it works with the quarterback competitions. You go through, and it’s not necessarily the coach choosing; it’s one quarterback separating himself from the others.”
How that plays out will be interesting, considering the way in which Kendall and Allison, who are considered the primary candidates, have established themselves in the program. Both are transfers, but Allison has been on the scene a bit longer, while Kendall had to take something of a crash course to get to know his teammates.
Brown sees some positives in the way that Kendall has acclimated himself to the program.
“The transition has gone smooth,” WVU’s first-year head coach said. “I have known Austin and his family since I was the offensive coordinator at Kentucky. He came in, and it was a positive for us. He’s been in our program for several months, and he has grown as a leader. I have heard really positive feedback about his work ethic.”
The replacement theme isn’t just one at quarterback, and is one that extended past the expected deadline date. Wide receiver Marcus Simms and safety Kenny Robinson were departees, and followed by safeties Derrek Pitts and E.J. Brown. That leaves holes at all levels of the depth chart at safety, causing shuffling that will likely continue into the fall. WVU moved Josh Norwood to safety to help address one of those gaps, but the picture at those vital positions is cloudy.
“It didn’t necessarily come as a surprise,” Brown said of the departures. “But I do feel good about how our guys have worked, how they have prepared, and I think we have some depth. We have some young guys that I think are ready to step up and play.”