The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

December 3, 2012

HERTZEL COLUMN-WVU’s Bailey contemplates entering draft

MORGANTOWN — This corner of the newspaper world was supposed to be filled with good news today, a renewal of the Backyard Brawl in New York City’s Pinstripe Bowl, but that fell through when Syracuse accepted a bid to play there.

The bowl game, of course, wraps up this disappointing season, which probably should be considered good news if it weren’t for the fact that you have to look ahead to life in the future in the West Virginia football program, and that doesn’t look particularly promising.

Nobody on any level loses players like quarterback Geno Smith and slot receiver Tavon Austin and replaces them with the same level of player, for they are once-in-a-lifetime players. At least, though, you could plan for their departure, for you know they have to leave when their eligibility is complete.

Equally as big a loss next year to the offense that carried WVU to whatever it accomplished this year will be Stedman Bailey, a junior who probably is the nation’s best pure wide receiver.

True, he has a year left, but in reality, short of some personal records, he really has no reason to return next year ... the quarterback that he grew up with and has played with since childhood being gone, Austin also being gone to take the attention of defenders away from him, and even J.D. Woods exiting with his ability to make key catches.

Bailey is a certain first-round pick in the NFL, should he declare for the draft, and there isn’t a man alive this side of Andrew Luck who would turn down a sure thing like that and gamble on playing another year of college football.

Bailey all but said he was exiting in the aftermath of the ridiculously easy 59-10 victory over Kansas on Saturday in the regular season finale.

“If the money calls, you gotta go,” he said.

At the same time he says that, he maintains he’s not 100 percent certain.

“I have to talk to my family and see how that works out,” he said.

Hard to imagine that conversation.

STEDMAN: Mom, I’m thinking of passing up about $11 million to go back to school, get my degree and play with a new quarterback and new offensive line another year.

STEDMAN’S MOM: Are you out of your mind, son?

Bailey said he was spending his spare time looking at some of the national records he had a shot of breaking, some he said were in reach.

Certainly anyone who can catch 106 passes for 1,501 yards and a national league 23 touchdowns would believe he could do such things, but you know what, it won’t be Geno Smith throwing to him and, more important, he won’t be paid to do it.

Still, he isn’t saying definitively that he’s gone.

“It’s something I have to think further about. I’m not sure what my future is now,” he said.

Even Geno Smith backs off when it comes to offering advice to Bailey.

“Let him decide,” the quarterback said. “He’s his own man. He’s a big boy now. He can do his own thing.”

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step Thursday

    Perhaps the most used – and least factual – cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
     

    July 30, 2014

  • Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
     

    July 30, 2014

  • 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

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