"But overall, I'm very pleased with how he has progressed. I'm comfortable with him if something were to happen to Geno. He has thick skin and he's very good at playing in this system. I'm confident in his skill set in this offense.''
The hope is that Millard will be the only backup needed this season because Childress is in the same position Millard was in last season - a true freshman who needs to spend time in the system before being asked to play. There was no opportunity to redshirt Millard, but fellow Texan Childress should have that luxury.
"Right now, it's our intent to redshirt him. He's at the point where Paul was last season,'' Spavital said. "This is going to be a big year for him.
"I don't want a kid just thinking that he is going to redshirt, though. You don't want him to build a mentality that he isn't going to be in the game. You want them to come into this facility every day with the idea that they are going to be a starter.''
At least for a few days, Millard and Childress will have a chance to practice as if they were the starter, and that can't be a bad thing.
"They look like young, inexperienced backup quarterbacks out there, and the more they rep the better they're going to be at it,'' Holgorsen said. "Heaven forbid ever being in that situation to have to put them in with the first string because Geno clearly makes everybody else around him better. Watching both Ford and Paul repping with the first team, it doesn't necessarily make everybody else around them better where it's clear that [Smith] does. We're better with him.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.