WVU Quarterbacks Admit They Have A Lot To Learn - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Quarterbacks Admit They Have A Lot To Learn


The West Virginia University football team will take the field for a game this Saturday. It is the annual Gold-Blue spring game and many position battles will continue in what counts as the final day of spring drills.

This is the last chance for the players to leave an impression with their coaches until training camp begins in August.

Junior Paul Millard and Redshirt-Freshman Ford Childress are competing for the starting quarterback job vacated by likely first round NFL draft pick Geno Smith.

"Going in it has been a competition and it will continue to be a competition," Millard said after practice earlier this week. "Every day what we do out here is compete and do that every single day."

"As far as the competition, we are taking it well," Childress stated. "There has never been any fights or anything like that. We keep the meeting room loose. I think it is going well."

The competition will be taken to a new level Saturday during the Gold-Blue game. That is when thousands of WVU fans in the stands and many more tuning in on television will get to see the two quarterbacks in action.

"Maybe we will have a little scuffle on the 50," Childress joked when asked if the two quarterbacks will talk any trash to each other during the game.

The NCAA grants each institution 15 practices that can be used in the spring. Most of them use the last practice as a spring game. While it will be played as a game, it is another opportunity to be evaluated by the coaching staff.

"Every time we take the field it is important," Millard said. "We are not out there to mess around. We have to take some good reps and get stuff on tape and get better from it."

Every player on the team has some room for improvement. For Childress, that involves understanding when he needs to make a check at the line and change the play.

"I'm getting as much freedom as I want as long as it is the right check," Childress said. "But, I am a little hesitant right now. I know there were a couple of times that they went man and I should have checked out of it and didn't. I am a little hesitant with it, but I think with more reps will come more confidence."

Millard admits he needs to be more accurate and consistent.

"We've still got to work on not turning the ball over," Millard stated. "I feel I have gotten more accurate through spring. That usually happens as you get the timing down with guys. I have also been working on better footwork in the pocket. That is some of the stuff I have been working on."

Both quarterbacks have waited for their opportunity. Millard spent two seasons backing up Geno Smith. Childress was redshirted last year. It was difficult waiting, but both players say this opportunity is worth the patience required to win the job.

"It's definitely well worth it," Childress said with a smile. "I have wanted to be a college quarterback since I was eight years old. To have that opportunity in front of me at such a great institution and with such great players is a dream come true."

"I didn't come to school here not to play a considerable amount of football," Millard said about the wait. "I wanted to play and now I am getting the chance to show what I can do. Right now it is about enjoying the process and getting better each and every day and stepping up and hopefully being that guy."

Saturday's Gold-Blue game is another chapter in the novel that is the WVU quarterback competition. It is one that will continue throughout summer workouts and training camp. It might even continue right up to kickoff in the season opener against William & Mary on August 31.

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