Skyler Howard, QB, West Virginia
West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen coached a pair of Heisman-worthy quarterbacks as offensive coordinator at Houston (Case Keenum) and Oklahoma State (Brandon Weeden). His former West Virginia signal-caller, Geno Smith, was 2012’s September Heisman.
None were ever finalists for the award.
Skyler Howard could be Holgorsen’s first quarterback to earn the invitation to New York. He’ll get the opportunity to throw the requisite passes in Holgo’s air-raid offense, but Howard also brings a new twist to the scheme in 2015.
As a true, dual-threat quarterback, Howard adds another option in West Virginia’s suddenly terrifying run game, which returns leading rushers Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood.
Howard’s challenge in breaking out of relative obscurity and onto the national stage is the same overall task West Virginia faces cumulatively. The Mountaineers have wilted in Big 12 play every season since joining in 2012.
With the new wrinkle to the offense, and a talented and potentially stout defense, the Mountaineers are dark-horse contenders in what could prove to be a much wilder race than anticipated.
If West Virginia finds itself in the hunt for the conference title, Howard should interject himself into the Heisman discussion.