The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 8, 2010

QB Smith far from dormant this spring

While West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith won’t be involved in any live contact, the sophomore said he is anything but dormant this spring.

“I want to do as much in spring practice as they want me to do,” Smith said. “I will do what my team needs me to do and as much as the trainers say I can do.

“I just want to get bigger and stronger and be a better leader this spring.”

Smith suffered a broken bone in his right foot in the Mountaineers’ 33-21 loss to Florida State in the Gator Bowl Jan. 1.

“It was a sharp pain,” Smith recalled. “I immediately thought it was a sprain. A lot of doubt went through my mind, but the next day I got back on my grind and started working again and I am here now.”

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Miramar, Fla., native completed 32 of 49 passes for 309 yards with a touchdown and an interception last season.

His most extensive use came against Marshall, when starter Jarrett Brown went down with a head injury. He was 15 of 21 for 147 yards and a touchdown in leading WVU to a 24-7 win.

Coach Bill Stewart was happy with what he saw Tuesday.

“He looked pretty good to me today,” Stewart said. “If he is in the spring game, he won’t be hit.”

While Smith seems the odds-on to get the first shot at the starting job, backup Coley White is getting a longer look. But with blue-chip recruits Barry Brunetti (6-0, 207, Memphis) and Jeremy Johnson (6-2, 175, Kountze, Texas) coming in the summer, that might just be for numbers purposes.

Still, Stewart was impressed by White’s first day.

“I thought Coley White threw the ball better than I had anticipated, which was good,” the coach said.

Stewart said he is still looking for team leaders to emerge

“Our chemistry is good. Our leadership is good. They are all good, but nothing near great,” he said. “You just take our men’s and women’s basketball teams and you will see what chemistry and leadership can do. I am not real pleased with that at all.”

Noel Devine will likely be one of the leaders when the season kicks off Sept. 4 against Coastal Carolina in Morgantown.

He definitely has the resume to be a team leader, rushing for 1,465 yards and 13 touchdowns last year.

“I just want to get better than last year,” Devine said. “It is going to take my coach staying on me, my teammates pushing me and me wanting to get better.”

West Virginia’s spring game will be 7 p.m. Friday, April 30, at Milan Puskar Stadium. Admission is $5 and proceeds go to the WVU Children’s Hospital.

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