West Virginia notebook: Childress to start at QB in debut

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Ford Childress, a redshirt freshman, will make his West Virginia debut Saturday as the starting quarterback for the Mountaineers (1-1) against Georgia State (0-2) at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, W.Va.

"It's his time," coach Dana Holgorsen said Thursday night on his weekly radio show. "It's his job and we're going to see what he can do."

Childress, 6 feet 5, 234 pounds, redshirted last fall and has yet to take a snap as a Mountaineer. He was pronounced out of the quarterback battle three weeks ago to give more practice reps to juniors Paul Millard and Clint Trickett because of their experience.

Millard made two starts but couldn't muster a steady air attack against William & Mary or No. 16 Oklahoma, committing three turnovers and throwing just one touchdown.

Holgorsen re-opened the quarterback conversation this week and, surprisingly, said even Childress would be considered to start even though Childress hadn't taken practice reps in three weeks.

Childress took 80 percent of the reps in practice Thursday, Holgorsen said, and the job is effectively his. The coach has no plans to rotate quarterbacks Saturday.

Childress is considered the first blue-chip quarterback prospect Holgorsen has brought to Morgantown. His father, Ray, was a five-time NFL Pro Bowl selection as a defensive lineman for the Houston Oilers, a two-time All-American at Texas A&M and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Two years ago, Childress threw for 3,171 yards, 41 touchdowns and just seven interceptions in 10 games as a senior at Kinkaid High School in Houston.

Linebacker kicked off team

Linebacker d'Vante Henry was arrested Wednesday on charges of second-degree sexual assault and was dismissed from the team Thursday.

Henry, 21, was being held at North Central Regional Jail in Greenwood, W.Va., a booking officer said. Henry had not posted $100,000 bail.

"There were strict parameters put in place that [Henry] had to abide by in order to play next season," Holgorsen said in a statement.

"The allegations made against him are troubling and very serious. He is no longer a Mountaineer."

Henry, a junior, was set to redshirt this season.

The incident occurred Sunday, according to a criminal complaint filed by a Monongalia County sheriff's deputy. A woman at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown told the officer Henry had assaulted her in her Morgantown apartment.

The criminal complaint stated Henry entered the woman's room in the early morning hours and forced her to have sexual intercourse with him. When later questioned by detectives, Henry told them the sex was consensual, according to the complaint.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound linebacker's West Virginia career is over before it began. A junior college transfer from Arizona Western College this summer, Henry didn't join the team until after fall camp because he was "dealing with personal issues," Holgorsen said.


Stephen J. Nesbitt: snesbitt@post-gazette.com, 412-290-2183 and Twitter @stephenjnesbitt.


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