MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Cleaning out a crowded notebook and a cluttered mind after paying way more attention to this latest NFL draft than ever before: Don't you just have to feel equal parts enthused and sorry for Geno Smith?
Enthused because among the three West Virginia players drafted, Smith finds himself automatically thrust into the most perplexing and surely the most high-profile quarterback situation in the entire NFL.
And sorry because among the three West Virginia players drafted, Smith finds himself automatically thrust into the most perplexing and surely the most high-profile quarterback situation in the entire NFL.
Even when the Jets released Tim Tebow on Monday, it just made things more bizarre for Smith. At least with Tebow around there was a lightning rod to divert some of the over-the-top tabloid coverage away from the new rookie. Now the microscope is firmly trained on just Smith and Mark Sanchez.
Then again, if Smith succeeds there's no better place to do it than New York. If Sanchez was worth signing to an almost $60 million contract without ever proving himself, what would a guy be worth if he did succeed?
Meanwhile, as New York braces for that storm, out in St. Louis they're just absolutely giddy. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey aren't walking into a soap opera. In fact, the receiver-starved Rams can hardly contain themselves over their good fortune.
"We're going to lobby with the league to see if we can play with more than one ball,'' coach Jeff Fisher said. "We're going to need more than one ball."
So how do West Virginia's most recent coaches compare in producing NFL talent? Glad you asked.
Here are the raw numbers. In 21 seasons, Don Nehlen recruited 54 players whose names were called on a draft day. In seven seasons, Rich Rodriguez recruited 16. In three years, Bill Stewart recruited four.
Before jumping to any conclusions there, though, consider a few extenuating circumstances.