The Times West Virginian

January 21, 2012

FURFARI COLUMN: WVU football captains named for 2011 season

By Mickey Furfari
Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — Coach Dana Holgorsen has announced that a junior and three seniors have been named permanent captains of West Virginia University’s 2011 football squad.

They are quarterback Geno Smith, offensive tackle Don Barclay, linebacker Najee Goode and cornerback Keith Tandy.

All four were outstanding leaders as the Mountaineers finished the season with a 10-3 record and a share of the Big East Championship and crushed ACC champion Clemson 70-33 in the Orange Bowl.

This was just the eighth time in WVU’s 120 years of football that the school has won 10 games or more. The other such seasons were 1922 (10-0-1), 1969 (10-1), 1988 (11-1), 1993 (11-1), 2005 (11-1), 2006 (11-2) and 2007 (11-2).

The Mountaineers needed a strong finish in 2011, winning their final three regular-season games and then the Orange Bowl.

Smith, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound junior from Miami, Fla., was voted the clear-cut Most Valuable Player before relatives and friends. He threw for 404 yards and six touchdowns in a record-shattering performance.

For the year, Smith completed 346 of 526 passes for 4,385 yards and 31 touchdowns. He was intercepted just seven times. He also scored twice on keeper plays.

His completions, attempts, yards and completion percentage all were single-season school records. His 31 touchdowns tied the record.

Smith also set a WVU high with his 33 touchdown responsible for. In all, he tied or broke 19 school records in 2011.

He’s a two-time all-Big East selection and set or tied several conference records.

Don Barclay, a 6-foot-4, 303-pound senior from Cranberry Township, Pa., tied the record for playing in 52 games in his career.

He was credited with 50 knockdowns and saw action in 947 plays in the season. He made the all-Big East team two years.

Goode, a 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior from Cleveland, Ohio, led WVU in tackles for the season with 89. He had 14 for lost yards and five sacks.

Goode made the all-conference first team and was 12th in the league among all tacklers. Like Barclay, Goode tied the record with 52 career games.

Tandy, a 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior from Hopkinsville, Ky., had 64 tackles, including 50 solo stops, and topped the team in interceptions with four.

The all-Big East standout also broke up nine passes and had two tackles for lost yards. He was third in the league in interceptions. He was No. 4 in the league in passes deflected.

The coaching staff has also named its award winners for outstanding performance for the 2011 football season.

Offensive Player of the Year – Tavon Austin; Defensive Player of the Year – Najee Goode; Special Teams Player of the Year – Cody Nutter; Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year – Cody Clay; Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year – Ismail Showell.