"I came up for junior day earlier this year, and my parents came back with me on this trip," said quarterback Ford Childress, who committed to the Mountaineers on Saturday. "I just fell in love with the program, and I love the way the whole state loves the school and supports it. The campus and student life were really great, and my parents liked it too. They want what is best for me, and we all agreed this was the best place for me."
One of the big factors in the decision was the suitability of Dana Holgorsen's offense as a match for Childress' skills. The big quarterback (6-5, 220 lbs.) started running Holgorsen's offense last year in high school, and the match was apparently one made in heaven.
"When I first started talking with Coach Holgorsen, I just fell in love with the program. The offense is so wide open, and I think he's the greatest coordinator in the country right now. We run our offense just like his. It's not that difficult to run – you just have to have good chemistry between the receivers and the quarterback. You have to make the right reads, but if you are clicking and everyone is making the same reads it's impossible to stop."
Childress' high school coach, Stephen Hill, provided the initial like between he and Holgorsen, Hill made the connection for Childress, and once together, they formed a bond based on the offensive system. The use of that system just blossomed in the past year, when The Kincaid School switched from a run-based system to a version of the 'Air Raid' attack. During that season, Childress played tight end while awaiting his turn behind another talented quarterback.
"We ran the veer [when I was a sophomore], so last year was the first year we ran this offense," said Childress, who recorded more than 3,100 yards and 28 touchdowns through the air last year. "We have developed good chemistry in it, and play in a lot of 7-on-7 events to help work on that. We usually play a couple of games a week against local high schools and play in tournaments, too, so we have gotten a lot of work in it."
Whit his big frame, Childress enjoys a commanding view in the pocket of the offense, and counts another pair of physical attributes among his strengths.
"I have a strong arm, and my vision is good," he said.
Recruiting attention has been increasing steadily for Childress, as he counted offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State among his suitors. However, he does not have plans to visit any other schools or continue the recruiting process.
"I am going to West Virginia," he stated strongly.
Childress has heard of current WVU quarterback Paul Millard, but has not met him. He did participate in a camp with him, but didn't get the chance to meet with him.
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Childress also had 550 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground as a junior.
"Some of that was off scrambles, but some came on designed runs," he said.