MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan won’t make the decision on who will be WVU’s starting quarterback in the fall, but he does have a front row seat to the show that is the quarterback battle between Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol.
Yet, it’s easy to tell that Reagan and head coach Neal Brown are on the same page in terms of evaluating the quarterbacks.
For instance, Brown applauded Marchiol’s responses to adversity on Wednesday, and Reagan echoed an a near verbatim sentiment.
“It’s been a lot of ebb-and-flow for [Marchiol], ups-and-downs,” Reagan said. “What he does a really god job of is when he makes a bad decision, or a couple in a row, his resilience and response to that, to come up and make a good play after that shows his maturity.”
Marchiol’s biggest knock is his lack of experience, but the WVU coaches were pleased with the few snaps he mustered at the end of last season.
“The two-and-a-half quarters he got to play vs. Oklahoma State [was] priceless for him,” Reagan said. “He’s been in it. He’s done it. He’s probably done it in the toughest elements you can do it in that monsoon we had at a pretty decent level.”
As for Greene, the coaches are enamored with his ability to extend plays. That remains unchanged in year three, but they also expect a mental jump from the junior
“[Greene has] really improved with his eyes,” Reagan said. “The next step we got to do is we got to get him to not think as much and just react.”
In addition to the emphasis on pocket presence, Reagan is working to channel Greene’s signature emotional style of play into production instead of it being a hindrance.
“He’s such an emotional player, and he’s still working on it today,” Reagan said. “He’s night-and-day better than two years ago when he was a really young buck here, but it’s [about] controlling that emotion. You don’t want him to stop being emotional because that’s what Garrett is.”
Until a decision is made, both quarterbacks will take an equal number of snaps. Because they offer similar skillsets, they will run the same plays in an effort to keep things consistent for non-quarterbacks.
Greene and Marchiol will duke it out for the starting spot, but freshman Sean Boyle received his second shoutout of the week Friday from Sean Reagan. Brown said that Boyle had his best day of camp earlier this week, and Reagan admitted that Boyle followed up that performance with another pair of strong days.
“He’s come a long, long way,” Reagan said. “He struggled with his accuracy the first week of camp but he’s gotten a lot better. I think it’s slowing down for him a little bit. He’s more comfortable. He’s done a really good job of you can tell on his own [he’s] studying the playbook because his eyes are starting to slow down. The first week, he was all over the place. The last three practices he’s had pretty good days.”
Saturday’s upcoming scrimmage – the first of two during fall camp – could be a turning point in the quarterback battle. The coaches will be looking deeper than surface-level stats.
“I’m looking for a 90% grade or higher on all decision-making,” Reagan said. “That’s run-reads, RPOs (run-pass options), pass game. Now, is that completion percentage? No, because there are a lot of factors that go into that, but I want them to be 90% or higher on decision-making on what there supposed to do with the football.”