Nicco Marchiol had a smorgasbord of scholarship offers from many of the top Division I football programs.
The four-star quarterback out of Arizona was courted by some big names as Georgia, Penn State, Michigan, LSU and TCU all dot the list of 27 teams that gave him a scholarship offer during his recruiting tour. In December, however, he decided to make the 1,800-plus mile move to Morgantown to join Head Coach Neal Brown’s 2022 signing class.
“You don’t feel like you’re away from home at West Virginia,” Marchiol said. “They make it feel like it’s the best place to be, and I fully agree with that. That’s what everyone on the team has to say and it’s a really, really good environment.”
While it may surprise some Mountaineer fans, college football observers from around the country might be puzzled as to why he picked WVU over some of those prestigious rivals. Marchiol seems to get that question often, and says his reasoning goes beyond the football field.
“I love answering that question,” he said. “It was on my official visit, you kind of get a feel that it’s kind of a family here. It’s a really close family that you can’t find anywhere else. I went everywhere, I toured everywhere in the SEC and west coast, everywhere you could look, and this place just stands out.”
Marchiol was attracted to WVU’s focus on building its student-athletes outside the lines of the football field. Since 2020, Brown’s Fifth Quarter Program has helped educate its players about everything from leadership to social responsibility, and it recently received a $1.6 million boost courtesy of the Chambers family.
“They want to help you after football because this only lasts so long,” Marchiol said. “I’m just really, really grateful for how things have gone in my six months here, I just couldn’t imagine it any other way.”
Much of Marchiol’s attention since enrolling at WVU in January has been on football. Arizona’s player of the year (so-dubbed by several entities, including Gatorade and MaxPreps) hasn’t had a seamless transition to Power Five football, which one can expect of a prospect fresh out of high school.
The biggest adjustment for Marchiol has been the speed of the game. With swifter players and quicker reactions, he says windows close up faster than they did in high school.
Marchiol has spent most of his time working with his receivers to build up timing and get comfortable with the offense.
“All that takes is reps. All that takes is more time in the film room and more time on our own throwing with receivers and stuff,” Marchiol said. “That’s the best way to build up the confidence so when you go out you can just perform, you’re not thinking, you’re just out there playing. I think the best thing I can do is just get as many reps as I can and just learn more of the mental side of football.”
Marchiol is learning more and more every day with all of the experience surrounding him in the quarterback room. Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell leads the way, having played quarterback in both the Big 12 and the NFL. In fact, recruited Marchiol while he ran USC’s offense and joined WVU’s staff just days after Marchiol enrolled in the University.
He also has a diverse set of quarterbacks around him. JT Daniels, for example, is an experienced prototypical modern quarterback with mobility and arm talent. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s Garrett Greene, a redshirt sophomore known for his speed and quickness.
“Things I’ve been learning here, it’s like I’m a sponge, like I’ve just been absorbing everything I can,” Marchiol said. “Having a very experienced quarterback room, they’ve taught me a lot and kind of helped me look at things from different points of view, so I’m just trying to learn as much as I can right now from the experience around me.”