The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

November 22, 2011

Bailey has sights on record, Pitt

MORGANTOWN — Every night for the past week has been the same for Stedman Bailey. Sleep doesn’t come easily, not at first anyway, for he is thinking about, envisioning one moment, a moment he hopes is early in Friday night’s Backyard Brawl.

Geno Smith will drop to pass, he’ll see Bailey open, hit him with the pass and it will be over.

Stedman Bailey will hold the single-season record for receiving yards at West Virginia, breaking David Saunders’ 15-year-old record of 1,043 yards.

“Seven yards,” said Bailey, knowing exactly what he needs. “I think about it every night. I set back and just smile, thinking about my name going into the record books.”

It is an awesome thought for a receiver who wasn’t considered a major recruiting coup coming out of high school.

It wasn’t that he wasn’t a productive receiver, it was just that he wasn’t the big, rangy type of game-breaking receiver you normally see breaking records. Chris Henry, the only other man in WVU history to catch passes for 1,000 yards other than Saunders and Bailey, was taller, rangier and faster.

“You don’t have to be big to make plays,” Bailey would say. “It’s what’s in your heart.”

That is a term he uses often when discussing his goals, his dreams, his abilities. He believes in this idea of inner strength, of something from within driving you through sports, through life.

He played at Miramar High with Geno Smith, a major benefit here at West Virginia, for the two of them are forever on the same page, having spent years playing pitch and catch with Bailey.

“To see what he’s been through, to see him prospering and finally getting the recognition he deserves is important. In my eyes he’s the best receiver in the country,” Smith said.

Bailey knows he wasn’t considered at the top of the receiving crop coming out of high school, not carrying the five-star rating others had. He believes that was for the better.

“The critics do drive me,” he said.

There really are no limits on where Bailey will wind up as a receiver. While he isn’t a blazer, he has speed and he is intelligent and hard-working, understanding what defenders are trying to do so that he’s able to take advantage.

He has 1,000 yards with two games left beyond the Pitt game, South Florida and a bowl game. How high can he take the record this year?

“I’m averaging 100 yards a game,” he noted. “That would be 1,200 or 1,300 if I hit my average, but I may go for 200 in one of those games. In this offense there is no limit.”

And with the attitude he carries there also is no limit.

“Football is my first love,” he said. “I’ve played since I was 9 years old. I’ve always been able to make plays. I just love the game so much I can’t picture life without football.”

Football has given him a chance to build a great life.

“There’s not a lot of people who have the opportunity I have,” Bailey said.

That includes going after a college degree and, perhaps, a career in the National Football League.

But first there’s a matter of beating Pitt this week, a huge game for WVU as the Mountaineers still have a chance to earn a BCS bid if they can win out and get Louisville to drop a game.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com. Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • smallwood-wendell(1)-2.jpg Charges against Smallwood dropped

     West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.
    It took him only three words to say what was on his mind: “God is Good.” Smallwood is now free to return to West Virginia and rejoin his Mountaineer teammates when they open camp for the 2014 season Thursday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charges against Smallwood dropped

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood took to Twitter mid-afternoon Tuesday to express his feelings after charges of witness intimidation against him were dropped by the state of Delaware.

    July 29, 2014

  • Were Bowlsby’s fears about college athletics’ future justified?

    I have never met or even talked to Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference.
    But I did read a lengthy story on his 45-minute address to reporters last week on Media Day in Dallas, Texas. Among other things, Bowlsby forecast a startling change threatening the existence of intercollegiate athletics as we have known for these many, many years.

    July 28, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • Seider's brother commits to WVU

    West Virginia University’s football team has received a commitment from one of its own.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides much optimism heading into 2014 season

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
    Forsey, a native of Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, was representing Team Canada. She was the first Canadian to cross the finish line in the women’s 5,000-meter run, finishing in ninth place overall in 16:02.55.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • Forsey posts Top 10 finish at World Championships

    Freshman Jillian Forsey of the West Virginia University cross country team finished ninth at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

    July 25, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos