The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 27, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Connelly, Stull take different collegiate paths

MORGANTOWN — Once upon a time they shared they were a matched set.

Friends.

Teammates.

They were almost so close that if one cut his finger, the other bled.

That was back at Seton-LaSalle, a small school near Pittsburgh, a school that would win a WPIAL championship that year.

The secret to that victory was quite simple. Quarterback Bill Stull threw the football; wide receiver Carmen Connelly caught it.

They combined 116 times for pass completions that senior season which was a state record for a wide receiver and the eighth highest ever nationally.

And then they went their separate ways.

Stull went to Pittsburgh, where he had a star-crossed career, injured and booed once, now the beloved leader of the No. 9 team in the nation.

Carmen Connelly, as sure-handed as he was in Lou Cerro’s system, wasn’t pursued on the same level as his quarterback, but he was determined to play major college football.

He came to West Virginia University, but somehow was always a step behind the best the Mountaineers had.

This kid who caught 116 passes in one high school season has caught one for three yards — against Eastern Washington in 2006 — in a career that has only three games left, the next one begin against Stull and Pitt at 7 tonight on Mountaineer Field.

Not that Carmen Connelly didn’t contribute to the cause. Because of those sure hands, he became the holder on placekicks, a job where you don’t need to always be a half-step ahead of a defender who is a half-step behind you.

His best friend was no longer the quarterback, but another seldom-used wide receiver, Jack Crow, and it isn’t by chance that he utters the same phrase Crow used when asked about his lack of playing time.

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Bob Herzel
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