Back to the Basepaths

As reported earlier today by, freshman quarterback J.R. House is leaving West Virginia University to continue his professional baseball career, he announced to a football team meeting this evening. 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 says. "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 God 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," says Coach Rich Rodriguez. "I know he has enjoyed his Mountaineer football experience, but he has a great opportunity in professional baseball. We certainly wish him well."

The 1996 and 1998 West Virginia state high school player of the year, when he passed for a then-national-record 14,457 career yards at Nitro High, House previously six years in the Pittsburgh Pirates' baseball organization, earning a brief stint in the major leagues in 2003 and 2004.

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