MORGANTOWN - Geno Smith won't be the only highly recruited Miami-area quarterback on the field Saturday when West Virginia hosts Louisville.
In fact, Teddy Bridgewater may have been the more prized commodity of the two, albeit three years later.
He's also getting a chance to show what he can do sooner than did Smith, who spent a year as Jarrett Brown's apprentice after coming from Miramar High School.
So far it's hard to argue with Bridgewater's success.
"He's managing the game and getting us in the right plays when people are blitzing us, and he's making the throws,'' Louisville coach Charlie Strong said of the 6-foot-3, 205-pound true freshman from Miami Northwestern. "He's doing that and he will continue to improve with more playing time. Each week is a totally different challenge for him because people don't run the same defenses.
"It's about him studying the game and on game day being ready for what the opposing team may do defensively.''
That's where Smith has the edge. Having been in West Virginia's program for three years and now in his second season as the starter, Smith is putting up huge numbers in first-year coach Dana Holgorsen's system. He is averaging more than 40 passing attempts a game and throwing for almost 340 yards each time out. Smith has 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Bridgewater has no such flashy numbers. Since assuming the starter's role for the fourth game of the season - a loss to Marshall - he is averaging about 26 passes and about 182 yards per game. Bridgewater has thrown seven touchdowns this season and six interceptions.
But until he becomes more comfortable with playing college football, throwing the ball a ton isn't what's expected of the former four-star recruit who was on the radar of Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Miami and others - including West Virginia - last fall. He chose Louisville, enrolled in January and was able to get a head start by going through spring practice.
Instead, Bridgewater is expected to run the Louisville offense and make as few mistakes as possible. For the past two games he has done just that.
After averaging 29 attempts during his first three starts, he has cut that down to 21 the last two games. And after Louisville lost his first three starts, the Cardinals have won two in a row, beating Rutgers and Syracuse.
It's probably no coincidence that Bridgewater's passing numbers are down and the team's win total is up, but it's been more than just his play.