After his arrival in 2012, many pegged Ford Childress to be the quarterback of the future for the Mountaineers. A highly touted recruit, Childress was listed as a 4-star quarterback by 247Sports. He chose West Virginia over Arizona State, Arizona, and Florida State. The Texas native was expected to be the perfect heir apparent to Geno Smith, and the perfect quarterback to man Dana Holgorsen’s system. However, what would transpire over the next year would set Childress on an entirely different path than expected.

In 2013, after his redshirt season, Childress would lose the starting quarterback battle in  fall camp to Paul Millard. Despite this, it would be sooner rather than later before he finally got his chance. He would receive the week 3 start against the Georgia State Panthers, and would not disappoint. He would go on to set the WVU single game passing yardage record for a freshman throwing for 359 yards, also tossing 3 touchdowns to 1 interception en route to a 41-7 win. What seemed like the perfect beginning to an electric career would quickly be derailed just a week later.

West Virginia would lose to the Maryland Terrapins 37-0, and Childress would be lost for the season with a pectoral injury on top of a very poor performance, passing for 62 yards and 2 interceptions. This would be the last time we saw Ford Childress in a Mountaineer uniform. The following spring, the Charleston-Gazette would report that Childress had been suspended by Holgorsen for the entire semester, and would ultimately leave the team.

The path of the Houston, Texas native would soon become rocky. He would take his talents back to Texas to play for Trinity Valley Community College. This would award him the opportunity to get his playing time back on track, all while attempting to impress those in the FBS ranks. However, he would not take a single snap for the team, acting as an assistant working with the quarterbacks for the entire 2014 season.

He would enroll at Fresno State for the 2015 season in hopes of finally getting what was once thought to be a stellar college career rolling again. However, according to the Fresno State Bulldogs’ Athletic website, the injury bug would once again bite him. He would play in two games, finishing 19 of 34 passes, for 159 yards, 2 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions before an internal injury forced him to have season ending surgery once again. The former Mountaineer would never be heard from again, never returning to the Bulldogs following the season.

Ford Childress will sadly go down as one of the biggest wasted talents in recent memory. What was supposed to be a record setting career turned into only 4 career games and 5 total touchdown passes. Had the ball bounced his way in Morgantown, we could have potentially been talking about one of the best quarterbacks to come to West Virginia University. Instead, Mountaineer Nation and Childress are left with “what could have been.”