WVU spring game provides another look at QB competition
By John Harris
Published: Friday, April 19, 2013, 11:45 p.m.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The last time West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen didn't know who his quarterback would be this late in the spring, he wasn't a head coach.
In 2008, Holgorsen was Houston's first-year offensive coordinator attempting to choose between Case Keenum and Blake Joseph, just as he's now trying to select from junior Paul Millard, redshirt freshman Ford Childress and true freshman Chavas Rawlins.
Not that Keenum — who developed into one of the elite quarterbacks in college football — should be confused with Millard, Childress or Rawlings. However, Holgorsen admits it's been a long time since he didn't already know the status of his starting quarterback.
What's more, Holgorsen said he doesn't anticipate his starting quarterback will emerge immediately after Saturday's annual Gold-Blue Spring Game at 2 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.
“This is the first quarterback competition that I have had personally since my first year at Houston,” said Holgorsen, whose starting quarterback the last two seasons, Geno Smith, is expected to be the first quarterback selected in the upcoming NFL Draft.
“Coming here, we obviously had our starter in Geno and at Oklahoma State, we had our starter in (Brandon) Weeden,” he said. “Going to Houston, Keenum obviously wasn't our starter, and we had a competition there where we went 15 practices in the spring and 15 practices in fall before we made that decision.”
WVU's 15 practices this spring failed to yield a starting quarterback. Entering the spring game, Millard — the only quarterback on the roster with game experience — is listed No. 1 on the depth chart. Childress is next, followed by Rawlins.
“We will mix them,” Holgorsen said. “What we have been doing in previous practices is Paul will go with the first team then (Childress) will go with the first team. Not only do they switch, but the receivers rotate. ... We will keep doing the same thing during camp (in August). There will be a lot of moving parts during the spring game.”
Millard has appeared in 11 games as a backup, including seven games in 2012. He completed 9 of 19 passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns last season.
“They are letting Ford and I go at it,” Millard said. “We are taking half and half with the reps, so it is all 50-50 right now.”
Childress redshirted last season. Rawlins, who started at Monessen, enrolled in January.
“It is not where they are right now, it is where they end up,” Holgorsen said. “Once spring is over, a lot can happen over the summer. You have lots of tape to sit and watch.”
John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @JHarris_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- West Virginia women fall to Baylor in Big 12 championship game
- Mountaineers earn share of Big 12 crown
- Clark paces No. 23 Oklahoma past West Virginia
- West Virginia withstands Wiggins’ 41 points, upsets No. 8 Kansas