William Crest Has Proven Willing To Play Any Position To Get On The Field. Now, Locked At Quarterback, He Expects Much Faster Development

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - With William Crest now entrenched as a full-time quarterback, his development and ability to truly master one position instead of spreading talents thin should come to the forefront.

Crest, above, speaks to the coaching staff decision to let him play just one position, and how that affects his mentality and development. Crest also talked about the various aspects of becoming an elite level quarterback, and his approach to achieving such heights. 

"It's all training right now," Crest said. "I'm getting prepared for the season that's coming up. It's a different year with higher expectations for the team and myself, personally."

With the latter especially true of Crest himself. The redshirt sophomore has cycled between quarterback, running back, receiver and kick returner for the better part of his career. That's enabled him to view the game, and the offense as a whole, from different perspectives, but it has also likely stunted development. Now, Crest has honed in on quarterback, and will look to provide a solid back-up to Skyler Howard this season while setting himself up to challenge Chris Chugunov and Will Grier, among others, for the starting spot next season.

"Be a playmaker," Crest said when asked about his own expectations. "Coach talks about guys making plays. Being on the field and making things ahppen, that's what we all push for. We want to be playmakers, we want to score and we want to win. That's the expectation."

Crest said he was different as a quarterback now because of that previous perspective gained while shuffling positions. And he noted that contribution would happen when you have more players with elite athletic ability. Crest also referenced other players - like former Ohio State signal caller and skill player Braxton Miller - who have seen success doing that, while reiterating that quarterback is the position for him. 

"Quarterback is that position (for me)," Crest said. "Coach Holgorsen talks to me about that every day. Whatever we are running, he comes to me and says to focus and get better every day. I try to take it all in and put my head down and go. I listen to everything he tells me and everything he asks and everything he informs me. When I first got here my head was everywhere. Coach Holgorsen would tell you the same, especially coming from a system where I ran back and forth (for the play call) to staying on the field. Moving forward, I realized that this is what will have to happen an either you get it or you don't.

"Playing quarterback is a big role on the field. There are different levels to playing quarterback. You have to know what the defense is doing. Then once you know what the defense is doing, you might have to check the play to make sure it fits. (Holgorsen) emphasizes that daily to me and the other quarterbacks. It's not just the quarterbacks, but the entire offense. I think as an overall quarterback or athlete, I need to improve overall, across the board."

For his career, Crest has rushed 125 times for 134 yards and completed 14 of 29 passes for 131 yards, two scores and an interception. He has four catches for 29 yards, including one in the Cactus Bowl to end last season. 

Crest is seen in the clip below, as starter Skyler Howard leads the quarterbacks through a series of drills, starting with one of ball security and ability to slide in the pocket. WVU offensive graduate assistant Michael Burchett and a student manager both swat and Howard's arms and the ball as Burchett gives instructions on which way to move before calling for the release of the ball, with passes going into a net.

Chris Chugunov (11) follows Howard, showing his quick release and velocity. Freshmen Cody Saunders (12), a 6-1, 210-pounder out of Arnold High in Panama City Beach, Fla., is next, followed by Crest (16) and Will Grier (14). Crest was asked to deliver the ball quickly, while Grier's focus was his eye movement and ability to refocus on the target while still moving his feet before the throw.


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