MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The calendar has flipped to August, which can only mean one thing — college football is back!

After a long winter and spring, and the first part of summer, football players at West Virginia University return to the practice field on Wednesday.

The Mountaineers are coming off a 5-7 season, and enter the fifth year of the Neal Brown era. WVU will usher in a new starting quarterback and plenty of new playmakers all over the field. Voted to finish last in the Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll, WVU is motivated to prove the doubters wrong and not finish at the bottom of the league standings come November.

But the end of the season is a long way away. With fall camp just getting started on Wednesday, here are some of the top storylines we’ll watch develop in the month-long lead-up to the regular season opener against Penn State.

Quarterback competition

Garrett Greene. Nicco Marchiol. Neal Brown and company will decide on one of the two dual-threat quarterbacks to lead the offense this fall.

Greene, who appeared in nine games last fall, is the more-experienced option. He already has two seasons under his belt of semi-regular playing time, and has accounted for more than 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in his WVU career thus far.

Marchiol, a redshirt freshman, is more highly touted as a former four-star recruit. He saw action in three games last season, most notably helping lead West Virginia to victory on the road at Oklahoma State in the final week of the season.

The two QBs have taken the competition in stride, growing their games and their relationship this offseason. Greene and Marchiol split reps during the spring. It gave Greene his most extended run with the first-team offense, and helped Marchiol settle into the position and the program.

Marchiol is left-handed. Greene is right-handed. Greene is more of a runner. Marchiol is more of a passer. Both enter fall camp with a chance to lead WVU’s offense.

Wide receivers & pass catcher depth

Devin Carter was brought in from NC State to be WVU’s go-to, big-play wide receiver. Outside of Carter, it remains to be seen who West Virginia’s quarterback will primarily be throwing the ball to this fall.

When the Mountaineers released their initial depth chart last month, Carter (Z) and Cortez Braham (X) were listed as the top targets on the outside. Wide receivers Jeremiah Aarron, Preston Fox, Ja’Shaun Poke, and talented freshman Rodney Gallagher III, among others, also figure to be part of the passing game. Transfer tight end Kole Taylor is also expected to be a consistent target, as will running back CJ Donaldson.

This fall is likely to give a better indication of where all of those pass-catchers rank in the pecking order of the offense.

Production on the defensive line

It’s no secret that West Virginia’s defense lost a lot of production in the offseason. Fall camp will be the first true indication of who will be expected to replace that production this fall, specifically on the defensive line.

Sean Martin is expected to take the next step in his football career and maturation as a player. The Bluefield, West Virginia native is now the leader of that position group, taking over for Dante Stills.

Behind Martin, who started eight games and finished seventh on the team in total tackles last season, it remains to be seen who will produce alongside him. Jalen Thornton, Davoan Hawkins, and Edward Vesterinen are among the other defensive linemen who will be counted on to do just that.

The secondary: replacing snaps, increasing takeaways

Dontae Wright and ShaDon Brown are two other coaches searching to replace a lot of snaps from their position groups this fall. The defensive secondary is a mix of returning talent and offseason additions.

More pressing than replacing the snaps from last year’s unit, Brown and Wright aim to increase their players’ production, namely creating turnovers. West Virginia’s secondary accounted for a total of six turnovers last year — four interceptions and two recovered fumbles.

WVU is home to one of the top-rated defensive backs in the Big 12 Conference in Aubrey Burks. Fellow returner Malachi Ruffin was responsible for half of the turnovers recorded by the secondary. Beyond them, the DB depth chart is comprised of younger or unproven returning Mountaineers or new players.

This unit will be critical if WVU’s defense is to improve from last season.