Ford Childress looks the part, acts the part and even throws like the part. A typical pocket passer, the early enrollee freshman, Childress can has a top notch arm and a good foundation of mechanics.
Obviously, Geno Smith is the leader of this team and one of the top quarterbacks in the country, but on the depth chart, the battle for the backup job between Childress and sophomore Paul Millard is still in question.
With that in mind Dana Holgorsen’s staff has one of the biggest decisions to make since he took over the program. Paul Millard played the role of second string quarterback last season, but didn’t look all that efficient when doing so. During 2011 Millard made 15 throws and two of them went for interceptions including one in the Orange Bowl.
Now insert Ford Childress, the Kinkaid High School star, threw for 3,171 yards and 41 touchdowns during his senior year in a similar offense. Through twelve spring practices Childress has been an attention grabber in the media and on the field.
Holgorsen said, “When he (Childress) throws it, it goes exactly where you want him to throw it. It goes there, and it looks good, and it is usually extremely accurate.”
But at this point, what will benefit the program more? Holgorsen’s biggest decision isn’t who should the backup quarterback is, but whether Ford Childress should redshirt or not. WVU and Holgorsen would benefit from having Childress just practice and take reps for a whole year, that way once Smith graduates, Childress is ready to step in and compete for the starting job with Millard.
About the possibility of redshirting Childress, Holgorsen said, “It’s in the best interest of our football team. Paul (Millard) is so far ahead, because of the reps he’s had. We’ll let Ford (Childress) absorb it, take a bunch of reps and in a year from now compete. In a perfect world, yes, we’ll redshirt him, but you know how that goes.”
Barring an injury to Geno Smith, the backup isn’t going to play this season. So why would Holgorsen and his staff waste a year of eligibility on Childress. As much as Millard struggled in 2011, with the experience he has, he will be more than a steady backup this season. And since Childress would be third depth chart, there is no reason, not to redshirt because after the 2012 season Holgorsen can develop Childress over his career.
Right now that decision is still undecided at least until fall camp. Right now Childress is doing everything in his power to get on the field and is just worried about practice.
“It’s tough, but at the same time I’m getting better every day and it is getting easier and easier,” Childress said.