Spring Analysis Blog - West Virginia's QBs

Posted Mar 26, 2010

Opinions, analysis, and information about during the spring session. ... What's the most important thing to watch for this spring?

By David J. Gill

Mountaineers begin spring practice with questions at QB

Eugene "Gino" Smith enters spring practice number one on the quarterback depth chart; that has to be exciting for the true sophomore from Miramar, FL but very nerve wracking for head coach Bill Stewart. Smith saw limited action as a true freshman behind the now graduated Jarrett Brown in 2009; his top performance came against Marshall where he completed 15-of-21 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown. Smith also took 35 snaps against Florida State in the Gator Bowl. The experience will certainly help Smith who is currently in a walking cast rehabbing from a broken foot he suffered during winter conditioning. Smith's injury prompted Bill Stewart to push back the start of spring practice to allow his sophomore more time to heal; that tells you exactly how thin and inexperienced the Mountaineers are at the quarterback position for the time being. "He's been throwing with his knee on a chair for a couple of weeks. The last couple weeks he has been throwing like normal. He has a walking cast; not a boot but a cast," Stewart commented. "He can scrimmage; nobody can hit him but he will hand off."

Coley White (6-0/175/r-So.) will go into spring practice as the No.2 quarterback; White saw limited action in 2009 carrying the ball three times for seven yards while not attempting a single throw. The younger brother or Pat White had been rumored to be switching to wide receiver in the summer but for now will provide valuable minutes at quarterback in the spring.

Coach Stewart and his staff addressed the quarterback situation in the 2009 recruiting class by signing a couple of very highly rated high school player. Barry Burnetti (6-0/207/Fr.) and Jeremy Johnson (6-2/175/Fr.) make up the strongest quarterback class that the program has ever signed. Burnetti choose WVU over offers from Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisville. He was selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American game and was named a Parade Magazine All-American. Johnson choose the Mountaineers over offers from Missouri, Michigan, TCU and Baylor. He passed for 8,400 yards and ran for 2,200 en route to shattering all of his high school's offensive records. Burnetti and Smith will be eligible to enroll at WVU for the beginning of summer classes.

The Mountaineers begin spring practice on Tuesday, April 6. WVU will have 15 practice opportunities throughout the month of April and will end with the annual Gold-Blue Game on Friday, April 30.