By Cam Huffman
Five days before West Virginia University’s season opener against William & Mary Saturday in Morgantown, there’s still no word on who will start at quarterback. Late Sunday night, though, WVU did provide some insight into who it won’t be.
On a depth chart released by the sports information department, the quarterback position was listed as junior Paul Millard OR junior Florida State transfer Clint Trickett. Redshirt-freshman Ford Childress, who had an OR beside his name on the depth chart that was released at the beginning of fall camp, had that distinction removed.
Third-year head coach Dana Holgorsen had committed to making a decision on who would replace record-setting quarterback Geno Smith by the end of preseason camp last Saturday, but since that time the coaching staff and the athletic department have been more tight lipped than the CIA. There have been no interview sessions with players or coaches and no press releases until the depth chart came out Sunday night.
Millard is the only one of the three quarterbacks in the competition who has thrown a pass wearing a WVU uniform. The Flower Mound, Texas, native has completed 16 of 34 passes for 211 yards. He’s tossed three touchdowns and an equal number of interceptions.
Trickett played in 12 games at FSU before coming back to Morgantown, where he lived when his father, Rick Trickett, coached the Mountaineer offensive line under Rich Rodriguez. He threw for 947 yards and seven touchdowns, compared to just four interceptions, in his time on the field for the Seminoles.
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Quarterback wasn’t the only position of interest on the depth chart.
At running back, Houston transfer Charles Sims, picked as the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Year, was listed as the first-teamer at running back, while freshman Wendell Smallwood was the backup. The third-teamer was junior college transfer Dreamius Smith, followed by Dustin Garrison, who was WVU’s go-to back as a freshman in 2011.
Last year’s top rusher, Andrew Buie, was not listed on the chart released Sunday night.
Cody Clay was listed as the starter at H-back, a fullback/tight end hybrid position, backed up by Garrett Hope.
The starting offensive line consisted of Quinton Spain (left tackle), Marquis Lucas or Pat Eger (left guard), Tyler Orlosky (center), Mark Glowinski (right guard) and Curtis Feight (right tackle).
The starting outside receivers were K.J. Myers and Ivan McCartney, backed up by Kevin White and Ronald Carswell. Daikiel Shorts and Devonte Mathis were the top two slot receivers on the chart.
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Experience filled the starting lineup on defense, beginning with a front three of Shaq Rowell (nose tackle), Will Clarke and Eric Kinsey. Isaiah Bruce was listed as the starter at the Spur position, with Brandon Golson at the Buck. Jared Barber and Doug Rigg were listed as co-starters at the Sam linebacker spot, with Nick Kwiatkoski at the Will.
In the secondary, Travis Bell, a converted safety, and Ishmael Banks were listed as starters at the two cornerback spots. Karl Joseph and Darwin Cook were the two safeties.
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Redshirt-freshman Josh Lambert won the placekicking duties, according to the chart, while Nick O’Toole will handle the punting. Michael Molinari, the backup punter, will be the holder, with John DePalma serving as the long snapper.
Sims and Smallwood were listed as the kick returners, with Ronald Carswell and Jordan “Squirt” Thompson as punt returners.
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Holgorsen is scheduled to be a part of the first Big 12 coaches’ teleconference of the season this morning at 11:40 a.m., and will surely be asked to speak further on the quarterback battle.
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