THE VIEWS from here: n With a whirlwind of sports news lately, a significant state story passed with little fanfare.
It's time, though, to salute one of West Virginia University's finest football players, Darryl Talley, who was recently enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame.
It was very well deserved. I remember talking to then-Pitt coach Foge Fazio before the 1983 Backyard Brawl when he singled out Talley. In fact, he compared Talley to former Panther great Hugh Green, a three-time first-team All-America selection and second-place finisher to George Rogers in Heisman Trophy balloting. Green had been the highest Heisman defensive finisher until 1997 when Charles Woodson won.
The praise wasn't all coaching hyperbole. Talley was one of the sparks to the surge in football fortunes for WVU under Don Nehlen. He's still among the school's top three leaders in career total tackles (484), unassisted tackles (282) and assisted tackles (202). He became WVU's third consensus All-America selection.
Talley then took his fiery play to the NFL for 14 seasons and never missed a game in his 12 with Buffalo, where he played in four Super Bowls.
For those too young to remember Talley, well, it's a shame. Around campus he would wear a jacket emblazoned with "The Assassin," which was a tip of the cap to Oakland Raider star Jack Tatum.
Talley was undersized - and feared.
If you go to his Wikipedia page, you'll see him hoisting the 1981 Peach Bowl trophy along with current WVU athletic director and former Mountaineer quarterback Oliver Luck.
"Two Cleveland boys," Luck said with a smile.
"Darryl's story is a metaphor for how WVU has always punched above its weight," Luck said. "If they had [recruiting scouting] stars in his day, he would have had zero. But people realized very quickly how good of a player he was and that he was destined to be great. He just needed to put on some weight."
Luck went on to say Talley and Delbert Fowler, another Cleveland product, were "bookends that might have been the best ever here."
Makes one think, right? Maybe, just maybe, Cleveland should become a WVU recruiting priority once again.
The player spent a redshirt season with Tennessee in 2008-09 and Huggins seemed close to landing the center.