MORGANTOWN - Redshirt freshman quarterback Ford Childress is no longer a part of West Virginia’s football program, a source told the Charleston Daily Mail on Saturday.
Childress was suspended for the entire semester earlier this month by head coach Dana Holgorsen. Childress, who was 1-1 as a starter this season before an injury ended his season, was not at a team meeting Wednesday, the first day of the spring semester. Childress informed WVU he would not enroll this semester.
Holgorsen did not return a message seeking comment.
Childress had been in line for a big opportunity during spring practice, though. Quarterback Clint Trickett, who started eight games in 2013, will undergo surgery this week to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. The Mountaineers are not sure the rising senior will be able to play in the spring. The only other quarterbacks on the roster are rising senior Paul Millard and junior college transfer Skyler Howard, who enrolled last week.
William Crest, a freshman from Baltimore committed to the 2014 class, will enroll in the summer.
The Mountaineers made the Houston native Childress one of their top targets soon after Holgorsen arrived in December 2010 and began building a coaching staff. Childress was 20-1 in two seasons as a starter at Kincaid High. As a senior, he completed 184 of 292 passes for 3,171 yards, 41 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 10 games as a senior.
Childress redshirted in 2012 at WVU and didn’t play in the team’s 1-1 start under Millard this past season. He was named the starter two days before setting a school freshman record with 359 yards passing against Georgia State. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Childress completed 25 of 41 passes for three touchdowns and one interception.
He started again a week later on the road in a 37-0 loss to Maryland. Childress was 11-for-22 for 68 yards and two interceptions and later revealed he tore the pectoral muscle on his right/throwing side early in the loss.
Trickett, a transfer who graduated last spring after three seasons at national champion Florida State and was eligible to play right away this past season, started the following game against Oklahoma State and led the Mountaineers to a 30-21 win. He was 1-5 in his remaining starts and finished 123-for-231 for 1,605 yards, seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Millard would play parts of five other games, including one start, after his 1-1 record to start the season, but he was never effective with the offense. WVU managed four touchdowns in his starts — one was against William & Mary from the Football Championship Subdivision — and he committed six turnovers in back-to-back losses against Texas as a substitute and at Kansas as the starter
The 5-11, 200-pound Howard is originally from Fort Worth, Texas, and spent just one season at Riverside (Calif.) City College. He led the team to a 10-2 record, a National Division Central Conference title and a sport in the California State Championship game. Howard completed 219 of 325 passes for 3,151 yards and 33 touchdowns and added 343 yards rushing. He has four years to play three seasons with WVU.