The West Virginia Mountaineers are approaching spring training for the 2013 football season.
The one question on everybody’s mind is who will be starting at the quarterback position against the William and Mary Tribe on August 31, in the first game of the new season.
Currently, it could be said that everyone is on level ground entering training camp. The battle is currently between Junior Paul Millard, who backed up Geno Smith for most of his career at WVU, redshirt freshman Ford Childress, and true freshman Chavas Rawlins.
The reason this three way battle is essentially deadlocked is because while Millard is the oldest quarterback, he hasn’t seen any real playing time for his entire career. The only playing time Millard has ever really had was after the game was well in hand. So the reality of the situation here is that Millard has just as little experience playing in big games as the freshmen do.
Millard has only thrown a total of 34 passes in his time as a Mountaineer. Three of those passes were touchdowns and three were intercepted. Again, these numbers pretty much mean nothing, as they were all accumulated as a backup without significant playing time. To assess a player based on his numbers as a backup would be like deciding if a kicker is accurate after three kicks.
Ford Childress was redshirted last year, which led people to believe he would get the start this year if he performs well in camp. Typically when a player is redshirted it is because they will be used in the near future. Childress drew a high amount of praise during the recruiting process and was thought to be WVU’s quarterback of the future.
Chavas Rawlins has not been considered in the quarterback race until fairly recently. I think that is simply a name recognition thing, as the everyday fan is not likely to know which recruits are on the way. Rawlins is a dual-threat quarterback who could steal some playing time if he shines well enough in camp. He may need Millard and Childress to under-perform as well.
So the bottom line is that as training camp begins, these three players must perform at the top of their game. In a race as close as this one, one could only assume whoever impresses the most during camp will earn the job.