SEVERNA PARK, Md. -- It's been almost four months since the top senior quarterback in Maryland and the No. 220-rated recruit in the country committed to West Virginia, but don't think for a second Baltimore (Md.) Dunbar's William Crest is merely enjoying the ride. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound four-star prospect has been attacking the offseason like he's a third stringer fighting for a spot on the varsity.
Which is really how he's been throughout his life. Crest sets goals, achieves those goals and then significantly ups the ante.
"You know, I went down to West Virginia a few weeks ago for a camp, and the coaches told me I'm more developed then when Geno [Smith] was a freshman," Crest said "That meant something to me, but at the same time I know it means nothing if I don't work. Geno is an astounding quarterback, but my goal is to be better than him one day. I still have a lot to do to get to that level."
Crest has spent the majority of his summer working out on his own and with local guru Chris Baucia, who runs the noted Quarterback Factory development program. On Aug. 4, the QB Factory hosted a who's who of Maryland quarterbacks, headlined by Crest, who showed off his awesome arm strength and improved accuracy.
"As a quarterback, I'm progressing slowly but surely. I haven't arrived yet, but I'm getting there. I still have things I need to work on," said Crest, who mentioned that he's doing a lot of resistance band work in addition to his typical lifting and throwing routines. "Coming to the Quarterback Factory, doing things on my own, doing things with my team, watching old NFL and college games -- looking at some of the small things quarterbacks messed up on - I'm just trying to better myself. I'm trying to make sure I'm getting better and better so when I get to WVU I don't have to waste as much time preparing for the college game."
One intangible area Crest is concentrating on is becoming more of a vocal leader. He tends to have a rather subdued demeanor, but he wants to take charge more often this year.
"That's what West Virginia is looking for from me - to be more vocal," Crest said. "The coaches told me Geno wasn't vocal when he started out, but while I'm still in high school I want to become that guy. That's my main plan - to be a vocal leader."
In addition to improving his own game, Crest has a burning desire to win another state championship at Dunbar. He has already won three straight class 1A title and wants to become the first Dunbar signal caller to win four straight.
"Tavon [Austin] won four [titles], but as a quarterback it hasn't been done. I have three championships and I'm working on No. 4," Crest said. "There's only four of us on the team now that have three rings, and everyone else only has two or one. So we're working to get there so we can have our names entrenched in history.
"This year the odds are against us because we lost like 25 seniors. So I'm working for my team and doing what we have to do to accomplish that goal."
Crest headlined the Quarterback Factory event, but he was hardly the only notable signal caller in attendance. Gilman 2015 quarterback Kai Locksley and his class of 2017 teammate Kasim Hill are stars in the making. Calvert Hall senior Colar Kuhns is an established prospect who holds offers from several Division I-AA programs. Spalding's Zach Abey is currently committed to Buffalo after building himself into an elite prospect the last few offseasons.
There were also numerous top local high school quarterbacks looking for some last-minute guidance before diving into the season, including Secenca Valley's Calvin Reighard and Westminster's Duke Etchison and Suitland's Wesley Wolfolk. Finally, the event saw more than a few up-and-comers looking to make a name, such as Old Mill's Brady Ludwig and Broadneck junior Canaan Geblee.
"I'm really looking forward to showing what I can do this year," said Geblee, who has attracted Division I-AA and Division II interest. "This is my third year with Quarterback Factory, and every week we're out here working hard. It really is a blast and I've learned so much from Coach Baucia."
Kuhns, meanwhile, has parlayed his work with QB Factory and his own one-day camp performances into numerous offers. He attended camps at Purdue, Indiana, Towson, Delaware, Princeton, Cornell and Yale and currently holds scholarships from Eastern Kentucky, William and Mary, Towson, Bryant, Cornell and Princeton.
"Working with Coach Baucia and just all the work I've put it, I feel really comfortable about my game right now," Kuhns said. "I'm looking to have a big year this year, and I'm definitely sending out film. I'm hearing a lot from Purdue, and their coach wanted me to send film after I went to their camp. Hopefully by the end of the year I'll be hearing more from them."
As far as Calvert Hall is concerned, Kuhns said he has a strong line in front of him and plenty of skill players who should help him in the passing game.
"Win a championship - that's the main goal," Kuhns said. "We came close last year, and now we need to finish it."
Reighard doesn't have the "name" recognition of a Kuhns, a Crest or a Locksley, but he's someone who has seen significant improvements during the last few years -- to the point where he's developed into a college-level passer. The Seneca Valley product attended camps at Delaware, Stony Brook, Monmouth, Towson and Maryland and has been in touch with a few Division I-AA and Division II coaches.
"Working with the Quarterback Factory, doing team workouts and going to these camps have really been productive for me," Reighard said. "My form is getting better, I'm trying not to over-stride as much as last year because I had a problem with that, and then I just keep working on the little details to get better. I feel like I've come a long way. I plan on sending out more film this year and then seeing what happens from there."