Big 12 News

Neal Brown on QB J.T. Daniels: ‘May Be the Smartest Quarterback We’ve Ever Had’

NCAA Football: Big 12 Media Days

West Virginia is coming off a 2021 in which it went 6-7 overall and 4-5 in Big 12 action. The Mountaineers reached the Guaranteed Rate Bowl, where they lost to Minnesota, 18-6.

West Virginia enters Year 4 under head coach Neal Brown still trying to figure out if it’s going in the right direction. Brown is 17-18 in three years and the Mountaineers have not challenged for the Big 12 title. 

The Mountaineers did have one of the Big 12’s best defenses of a year ago and it was ranked in the Top 50 in FBS in all major categories. But, there are just three returning starters. Fortunately, one of them is defensive tackle Dante Stills. 


Offensively the big news is that the Mountaineers landed Georgia transfer JT Daniels, who lost his starting job last season during the Bulldogs’ run to the national championship. Daniels’ transfer helps soften the blow of Jarret Doege’s transfer to Western Kentucky.

Neal Brown feels good about his quarterback situation with Daniels coming in and pushing some of the younger guys in the room.

“J.T. (Daniels) has come in and been really humble in his approach,” Brown said of his transfer quarterback. “He knows he’s got to win the competition. There’s nothing promised to him on the way in, but he’s done a great job connecting with our players. He’s done a great job getting his body where it needs to be. He’s in really good shape. He’s really confident. The key for him is to stay healthy.”


Brown expanded on how Daniels’s experience will help him catch up in the quarterback battle after coming to Morgantown this summer.

“He’s extremely smart,” Brown said. “He may be the smartest quarterback that we’ve ever had. He’s extremely intelligent. As soon as he made the decision that he wanted to be at West Virginia, he and Graham (Harrell) have been meeting. As soon as he made the decision, they could meet and talk football.

“He’s played a lot. He’s gone into different situations. He had to do the same thing when he transferred in from Southern Cal into Georgia. He knows how to go into a locker room. What I really appreciate about him is, he hasn’t gone into the locker room and said, ‘I’m J.T. Daniels, I’m here.’ No, he’s come in with a really humble work ethic. He’s been one of the first to arrive and the last to leave. He’s put in the necessary work. He’s been a great mentor to some of those young guys, not only in the quarterback room but also on our offensive side of the ball. He’s extremely hungry.”

The Mountaineers have seven returning starters on offense, including its entire offensive line from a year ago. That will help as WVU sorts through its roster to find a replacement for running back Leddie Brown and to fill two starting spots at wide receiver. 

The Mountaineers open the season on Sept. 1 at Pittsburgh, followed by its Sept. 10 Big 12 opener at home against Kansas. The Mountaineers also have a non-conference game at home against Towson and a road game at Virginia Tech.

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