West Virginia picked up a huge pledge on Tuesday evening, as former Miami quarterback transfer Jack Allison committed to the Mountaineers. The one-time four-star prospect was reportedly heading to junior college as his decision timeline came and went. However, the JUCO in question - Mississippi Gulf Coast - would not confirm his enrollment, and Allison went public with his change of heart the next day.
So what does this mean for West Virginia? Let's break it down.
What does this mean for Will Grier? This doesn't make it a certainty, but it could mean that Will Grier has plans to leave early for the NFL with a monster season. The Florida transfer has two years of eligibility, but many sources close to the situation believe he could turn pro if his draft stock rises to a certain point. Grier's plans were a factor in Allison's decision. Even before the back and forth on his pick, I was told by multiple sources that Allison was curious what Grier would do. Obviously if Grier were to return for his senior season, that would mean Allison would "sit" for two seasons instead of just one. He's not going to transfer from one school due to a logjam at the position just to go sit at another.
What does this mean for this year? West Virginia just got a really darn good scout team quarterback. Allison has to sit out this year due to NCAA rules, but he will lead the scout team just like Will Grier did this past season. He'll build experience and give the Mountaineers' defense a stronger look than they otherwise might have gotten between a mix of walk-ons. His ability to lead the scout team will also help save the arms of the backup quarterbacks in case Grier goes down with an injury.
What does this mean for 2018 recruiting? Well, it doesn't change much. The staff has been scouring the "free agent" market for some time now, especially since Cody Saunders' departure became official. Yes, this gives the team four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, but if Grier is leaving after this year, then it's already down to three for 2018. Throw in the world of college football quarterbacking - if there isn't a clear path to starting, then transferring is in play - and it'd be wise to grab a quarterback in this class still.
So what's the best-case scenario for West Virginia here? Well, it may not seem like it on its surface, but it would be for Grier to go pro after this year. If his draft stock is that high, that means he blew the doors off opponents in 2017 and the Mountaineers had one heck of a season. That would then turn 2018 into a three-way (or four-way) battle among Allison, Chris Chugunov, David Isreal and the 2018 signee. Allison and Isreal would be redshirt sophomores, while Chugunov would be a redshirt junior and the 2018 signee would be, duh, a true freshman. The winner leads the team for a couple years. One likely transfers and the other backs up, while the true freshman gets a year or two of grooming. There's now a very nice combination of depth, talent, and variety among the quarterbacking group.