MORGANTOWN — Freshman quarterback J.R. House is leaving West Virginia University to continue his professional baseball career, he announced at a football team meeting Friday night. He will not take part in practices for the Nokia Sugar Bowl.

House will go to Florida after final exams to participate in workouts for major league teams later in December. He hopes to be signed to participate in mini-camps leading up to spring training in February.

“I would just like to thank everyone who made this experience possible,” House said. “I feel totally blessed to have been able to come back to my home state and play a little football. The fans of this tremendous university and their support have been unbelievable.

“I can’t say enough about the WVU coaching staff and players who have become my friends. This family is special and there is a reason why we are Big East champions and Sugar Bowl-bound. Thank you everyone and Gob bless. I’ll always be part of the Mountaineer family.”

“We’ve enjoyed having J.R. as part of our program. He has been a great addition to our family,” coach Rich Rodriguez said. “ I know he has enjoyed his Mountaineer football experience, but he has a great opportunity in professional baseball. We certainly wish him well.”

A former state player of the year, House appeared in two games for WVU, completing 2-of-4 passes for 38 yards and rushing two times for 16 yards. He was the team’s No. 3 QB behind Pat White and Adam Bednarik.

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