One would think that this spring is the most important in Paul Millard’s young life, and they would be right.
However, they might not know the real reason.
The junior from Flower Mound, Texas, is involved in a head-to-head competition with redshirt freshman Ford Childress, each taking half the snaps as spring practice begins, for the starting job as Geno Smith’s replacement at quarterback at West Virginia University.
That would be enough for anyone to deal with, but Millard has something else on his table.
He’s getting married on May 12.
“It’s my only week off,” he said.
His bride-to-be, Laura, is his high school sweetheart, who has followed him here and is attending WVU.
“A lot of people have asked me (why we are getting married at a time like this) and my answer always is when you know, you know,” Millard said. “I’ve known this for a long time. It wasn’t a hard decision.”
He recently proposed.
“I proposed on a mountaintop,” he said, cutting the questioning short at that. “No more details.”
The proposal, he did admit, came in Colorado.
So when he shows up in summer camp to continue the battle for the job, he will be a family man.
Even though Ryan Nehlen could not break into the lineup at West Virginia as a receiver during his time here, his wide receiver coach from last season and this year’s offensive coordinator, Shannon Dawson, believes he has all it takes to play in the National Football League.
“I wouldn’t say anything negative about the kid,” Dawson said. “In my opinion, he needs to be on a roster at the beginning of the year and given an opportunity.”
Ryan tested off the boards on Pro Day, running the fastest 40 and having the top broad jump and high jump with top shuttle times also.
“Based on my knowledge of being around him the last two years, he did everything right. He tested out the roof. You never know when people are going to take it and run with it,” Dawson said.
As to why he didn’t play very much here, he was stuck behind Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin and a strong group of receivers.
“It just so happened we had some guys who were playing better than he was. It doesn’t mean the kid can’t play. If someone gives him a chance, you never know,” Dawson said.