WVU recruiting: Juco quarterback mulling WVU offer
With all of West Virginia's troubles at the quarterback position, many fans wondered if coach Dana Holgorsen would stray from his one-quarterback-per-class policy for 2014. Last week, that question was answered when the Mountaineers began to show interest in Riverside (Calif.) City College signal-caller Skyler Howard.
"I got a call from my high school coach and he said that Coach [Shannon] Dawson [WVU's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach] was going to call me in the next day or so," said the 6-foot, 205-pound prospect. "He called me about an hour later and we talked about my situation."
His "situation" is that of a fast-rising quarterback target among college coaches. A former walk-on at Stephen F. Austin, Howard transferred to Riverside and quickly took over the starting job. In the season opener, with his team down 28-10 in the first half, Howard was inserted into the game and his team rattled off 35 straight points, emerging victorious.
From there, Howard never looked back, throwing for 2,926 yards, 32 touchdowns and only five interceptions while completing 68 percent of his passes. He also ran 93 times for 279 yards and four scores.
After his phone conversation with Dawson, things moved quickly, with the WVU assistant flying out to California.
"Next thing I know he's flying out to see me this [past] weekend," said Howard, who not only won MVP of his team's bowl game that day, but was later informed of the offer from the Mountaineers.
As a former Texas high school standout, Howard knows all about Holgorsen and his offense, but until the offer was extended, he knew not to get too excited about any talk.
"It was a little bit of a surprise," he said. "I'm always skeptical until it happens, though. I've learned through the recruiting process that at one point everyone seems a little interested. I'm usually not excited until the words come out of their mouth, so I was a little excited.
"Well," Howard said with a laugh, "I was really excited, to be honest."
It's not just the lure of playing in an air-raid offense that has Howard ecstatic about the Mountaineers' offer. As a native Texan, the opportunity to play in the Big 12 could be too much to pass up.
"I've always wanted to play in the Big 12," said Howard. "I'm excited about it. Being a Texas kid and growing up with all that, this is a big opportunity ... if I decide it's the place for me."
That's the next step in this process. As an early enrollee set to graduate next month and enroll at his college choice in January, Howard is pressed for time. Because of that, plans have quickly been made to get him to Morgantown.
"I'm going up the Dec. 6 weekend," he said. "Football is going to be there. I know all that. I just want to look at the campus and see if this is the place I want to spend the next three or four years of my life. I want to see if it's where I want to grow up to be a man."
For Howard, a commitment during his visit is not out of the question, but with everything happening so quickly he's not ready to say anything definite.
"It all depends," he said. "I'm kind of playing it by ear because it's all happening so fast. I don't really know what I'm going to do or when."
Howard has four years to play three seasons once he arrives onto a campus in the spring.
Chris Anderson covers West Virginia and recruiting for Eersports.com via 247sports.com.