MORGANTOWN — Coley White did not win the starting quarterback job during West Virginia’s annual Gold-Blue Spring Game, but more importantly he did not lose the backup job.
Thrust into double duty due to the broken foot suffered by projected starting quarterback Geno Smith prior to the spring, White quarterbacked the Blue team, made up of the starters and top reserves, to a 38-0 victory over the Gold team, which he also quarterbacked.
The younger — not little — brother of Patrick White, perhaps the greatest quarterback ever at WVU put on a strong enough display of passing, ballhandling and running to convince coach Bill Stewart that he well could help this team next season as a slash type player, part wide receiver, part quarterback in the Wildcat.
“He’s been written off, talked off and probably told that he would not be the guy at quarterback, but not by me,” Stewart said after White had done his thing before 21,029 fans on a perfect April evening. “A lot of people said that, but I told him this week we would move him to the slot if he still wishes, but I want to keep him in the quarterback mix.”
All of a sudden Stewart sees Smith as his passing quarterback, but understands that he has tremendous versatility on his team with not only White, but injured wide receiver Bradley Starks, also a former quarterback.
He can put either or both of them in the game along with Smith, then line one of them up at quarterback, or run one on a reverse pass. It gives the defense a whole lot to think about, especially when it also has to worry about Noel Devine running.
“I hope Geno is healthy, but if not, we’ll go with White and Starks. Until we know the hand we’re dealt in the fall, it will be Smith and the two freshmen. White will stay at quarterback, but he will slot like Starks,” Stewart said.