A round with the QB coach
Imagine being a young football coach and hired to coach quarterbacks at West Virginia University. That is only part of the story regarding Rod Smith, the new quarterbacks coach at WVU.
Smith is a 34 year old native of Franklin, West Virginia who was hired in January by head coach Rich Rodriguez to coach his quarterbacks. Smith was a teammate a few days ago at the Mountaineer Golf outing in Bridgeport. While his luck has been good of late, he did have to endure a round of golf with some quizzical fans.
He came through with flying colors. Smith comes to WVU from South Florida where he spent six years, including last season as the offensive coordinator for the Bulls. Most WVU fans will recall the defeat the Bulls handed the Mountaineers last fall, so, naturally, the first thing out of my mouth upon introduction was to thank him for game planning for that defeat. He laughed and replied that he neither threw a pass nor made a tackle in that game.
Life is good for Smith. He is coaching what is widely considered to be one of the deepest and most talented group of quarterbacks in the country. Pat White, Jarrett Brown and Adam Bednarik have all started and won games as Mountaineer QB's and all three are considered excellent talents.
This is not lost on Smith who is happy to be home and working for Rodriguez who coached Smith at Glenville State. Smith is very impressed with his quarterbacks, but none more than White. Smith related that his first meeting with White was quite revealing. Pat came in and said, "I know you have been watching tape on me. What can I do to get better?' Smith said in his experience most big time talents aren't asking that question, but that White is special.
If there was any question about Smith having a good relationship with his star player, the question was answered on the same hole that he had made the statement regarding White. When the coach's cell phone rang, Smith chatted for a few minutes and then told us that it was White on the other end of the brief conversation. White was merely calling to say hello and to report that he was suffering from some sort of flu.
Smith did not make any predictions of the upcoming season except to say that areas of concern on defense will be improved based on what he saw in spring drills. Still, the most encouraging thing coming from Smith is the news that White is continuing to improve. That will make the junior QB even more fun to watch this year.