Two stellar quarterbacks are set to go head-to-head when West Virginia clashes with Clemson in the Orange Bowl on Jan 4.
Ironically, the signal caller suiting up against the Mountaineers, Tajh Boyd, was on track to play for West Virginia. That was before he withdrew his commitment and eventually signed with Clemson.
The redshirt sophomore pledged to play for the Mountaineers and was set to be a part of the 2009 recruiting class. But he and his father agreed that some of the changes in West Virginia's offense under coach Bill Stewart wasn't suited for the highly-rated prospect. So he looked elsewhere.
In the meantime, the Mountaineers were still in need of a quarterback. With Pat White's tenure at WVU?over and Jarrett Brown having just one year of eligibility remaining, finding a signal caller was high on the Mountaineers' to-do list.
Enter Geno Smith, who like Boyd, was a highly-regarded prospect coming out of high school. The good thing about Smith, though, is that instead of having people around him trying to persuade him to go somewhere else, there was someone close to him that had the Mountaineers' back - Damon Cogdell.
Cogdell, who was Smith's head coach at Miramar High School in Fla., is a former WVU?gridder himself. And he's never been shy in proclaiming that he indeed bleeds gold and blue.
Although the Mountaineers had landed their quarterback of the future, there were still grumbling about Boyd's decommitment among Mountaineer fans, and it was understandable why many were upset.
Looking back at it now, however, every WVU?fan should thank the Clemson quarterback for his decision, because it was definitely a blessing in disguise.
Why? Because if West Virginia would have signed Boyd, it's almost a guarantee that Smith would have ended up somewhere else.
And seeing Smith's shattered the single-season school record for passing yards (3,978) this year could just be a glimpse of what's to come next season.
No matter if its in the Big East or Big 12, the junior quarterback is going to be a legitimate Heisman Trophy contender next season. The same can't be said for Boyd. So when all you Mountaineer fans journey to South Beach to watch your beloved team go up against the Tigers, be sure to heckle with utmost kindness when slinging verbal gestures toward the Clemson QB. And be sure to thank him for doing WVU a favor.