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Garrett Greene Leads the Mountaineers into Spring

After taking a look at West Virginia’s 2024 football schedule and WVU’s pre-Spring roster, we begin our annual Spring position preview series. We start with quarterback, where Garrett Greene leads the Mountaineers into Spring.

Garrett Greene Leads the Mountaineers into Spring

In a world where the transfer portal and NIL exist to rapidly shift the landscape of college football, consistency remains pivotal to repeatable success in college football. The 2024 version of the West Virginia Mountaineers will enter Spring camp with the same quarterbacks it did entering the 2023 season. Even more, the starter for 2023 is back for his final season, surely looking to improve upon his team’s 9-4 record this year.

Greene entered last season with an axe to grind, ranked by some as the worst starter among all Power Five quarterbacks. For several years, Greene could have easily decided to take his services elsewhere, as he sat behind Austin Kendall, Jarret Doege, and JT Daniels during that time. Greene bided his time, though, and he performed well enough in 2023 for WVU to amass nine wins. Many still doubt Greene’s ability, though, as most early previews see Greene ranked in the middle of the pack for returning Big 12 quarterbacks. That doubt probably comes from one number: 53.1. That was Greene’s completion percentage for 2023. That number needs to improve.

But here is another number: 20. Greene ranked 20th among all FBS quarterbacks in passing yards per attempt. If we look at his passing yards per completion, Greene finished second with an eye-popping 16.37 yards. He also finished the season as the eighth-leading rusher among FBS quarterbacks and fourth in rushing yards per carry. Everyone knew before the 2023 season that Greene was a running quarterback, but few understood he could actually be a dual threat. Greene’s passing numbers on long balls was the best in the business, in fact. That said, his taking the next step and getting into a rhythm on short and intermediate throws would certainly help catapult WVU’s offensive efficiency numbers.

The Backups

Behind Greene, the Mountaineers have Nicco Marchiol and Sean Boyle. Boyle has yet to contribute, and he enters 2024 as a redshirt freshman. Whether he earns any reps will depend largely on factors out of his control. Will West Virginia build a big enough lead to get him playing time? Will the quarterbacks in front of him suffer any injuries? Could one of the other quarterbacks enter the transfer portal after the Spring? We doubt the last possibility happens. For Boyle, then, the question becomes whether he improves enough in his fundamentals to earn a few snaps and whether he will be satisfied if that is all he is asked to do. In the give-and-take of the transfer portal era, this remains the question. A team needs multiple backup quarterbacks, but can they retain them?

As for Marchiol, he remains young, but, as we saw the last two seasons, he is always an injury away from playing time. He would also enter the 2025 season as the heir apparent to Greene, which is why we doubt he will consider a transfer after Spring. For him, then, Spring represents a time to improve his skills through the reps offered during camp and to showcase some of those skills to fans during the Old Gold and Blue game. At this point, Marchiol could benefit from the reps to improve his decision-making. In limited snaps through his career, Marchiol has completed just 52% of his passes while throwing for three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Marchiol certainly earned a reputation for having a winner’s mentality in high school, so we have little doubt he will continue to improve. The Spring reps should help him do that. For now, though, returning starter Garrett Greene leads the Mountaineers into Spring.

Photo Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


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