MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Neal Brown likes the two quarterbacks he and his coaching staff are choosing between to be the Week 1 starter. He has made that clear during the offseason, even while stating West Virginia was taking the “long approach” on the position battle.
The growth he has seen out of Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol, specifically in how they are handling themselves on the field, is one thing he appreciates, specifically.
Brown stated that players can often get tense during a position battle, perceiving every rep and every practice has a heightened level of importance. But what he is seeing now out of Greene and Marchiol is a maturity to take each day in stride.
“Nicco was a little bit like that in the spring, and Garrett a little bit. But I thought both of them were much more at ease today, and didn’t try to force things,” Brown said. “[They] handled the negative plays better. That’s growth, and we’ll see how they continue to handle those as we move forward.”
Aside from taking the check down when WVU’s defense took the bigger passing play away, Brown was most impressed by their “even-keeled” nature on Day 1 of fall camp on Wednesday.
West Virginia’s quarterback duo may have been even-keeled as fall camp started, but that’s not exactly the norm.
Greene, especially, is known as a high-energy player. Most fans will remember the tenacity he displayed during the second-half-comeback he orchestrated in the rain against Oklahoma last season.
“He’s got great energy,” Brown said. “His juice level is extremely high.”
According to the fifth-year head coach, Greene’s highs were sometimes counteracted by his lows. Brown added that with as much “juice” as the junior righty brings, it’s more noticeable in Greene than in other players when the juice isn’t fully there.
“Today, I thought his energy level was good. Even [when] he made a couple bad decisions, it didn’t affect him, and he was able to bounce back,” Brown said, who added he saw a higher comfort level from Marchiol Wednesday.
Marchiol, now a redshirt freshman, displayed some of Greene’s same spirit in last year’s regular-season finale as he helped West Virginia fend off Oklahoma State in a downpour in Stillwater.
While both of West Virginia’s top quarterback options for 2023 lack collegiate starting experience, swagger and the ability to positively impact whatever room they walk into are two areas they excel in.
“[Garrett] and Nicco both have a confidence about them,” Brown said. “They’ve had a ton of success, and they’ve got natural leadership skills. And they’re likable.”