Coach Holgorsen had everyone guessing in WVU’s Spring Game when it came to redshirt freshman, William Crest. Crest played three positions and played very well at all three. So what’s the future for William Crest? Let me put it this way. Get your popcorn ready!
William Crest is certainly the more sexy option than junior, Skyler Howard who is currently the projected starter at quarterback. Howard was only able to go 9 of 22 for 121 yards in last week’s game. 48 of those yards were done in one pass play which was really Howard’s only shining moment. Crest is extremely athletic and Coach Holgorsen seems to want to take full advantage of that. Crest played the role of quarterback, halfback, and wide receiver in the game. Crest at quarterback went 3 for 5 for 31 yards, as a halfback he had 12 carries for 47 yards, and as a wide receiver, he had three receptions for 31 yards.
One may wonder what Holgorsen is thinking. Here’s my theory: Holgorsen obviously wants to go with Skyler Howard, regardless of how Howard plays. So, if Howard is the guy for Holgorsen that does not mean that he does not want to give Crest some playing time. Crest is a tremendous athlete, so why not see if he can fit into other spots. Holgorsen has played around with athletes playing multiple positons before (i.e. Tavon Austin against Oklahoma in 2012). That being said, he has never tried it with a guy designed to be a quarterback.
So where do I stand on all this? JUST PUT CREST IN. If William Crest is such a fantastic athlete, then just put him in. Why play around with putting him at wide receiver and halfback, when he is such a good quarterback? He can be that dangerous of a weapon and a great passer at the same time. Howard has probably already reached his ceiling, while Crest has barely scratched the surface of how good he can be.
Here is another problem with Holgorsen’s strategy: there are a quite a few times in the past that a team had success using a second quarterback as an athletic option. You could think back to the 2006 National Champion Florida Gators when Tim Tebow was the athletic alternative to starting quarterback, Chris Leak. Another time was the 2011 Oklahoma team where Blake Bell played the role opposite starter, Landry Jones. In both cases, the starter was the superior passer and it they had over a year of experience at the position. In Crest and Howard’s case, the passing ability seems to be more positive for Crest. Also, with only two starts under his belt, Howard is not the much more experienced option. Even though Crest has started none, it isn’t as if Howard has a lot of experience in hand.
Now, I will throw out a disclaimer that I thought that William Crest should have started ahead of Clint Trickett for this past season. But after Trickett’s great start, it was obvious I was wrong. I also realized this would give Crest more time to grow into the position. At the moment, that doesn’t appear like it’s going to happen. Holgorsen proved me wrong last season when Clint Trickett was picked over Crest. But this season is when Crest needs to take over the starting role. If he doesn’t, and he is used as some athletic weapon, it will be a total waste of his potential and will ultimately hurt the team.
**If you want a chance to win FREE Big 12 gear from your favorite team, be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter! **