MORGANTOWN - Second-year head coach Dana Holgorsen won't even talk about West Virginia University quarterback Geno Smith's chances to win the Heisman Trophy in 2012.
That's certainly understandable, though. Holgorsen prefers to talk strictly in terms of TEAM rather than in individuals.
But Damon Cogdell, who coached the record-breaking signal-caller at Miramar High School in Miami, talked fondly about Smith in a recent interview.
"Absolutely Geno has a shot at the Heisman this year," he declared, "Whether or not West Virginia has an outstanding season, which I think it will.
"I have had outstanding quarterbacks in my 10 years as head coach here. But Geno was the best. We're all so proud of what he has already done in his first three years up there."
Cogdell, himself an outstanding linebacker at WVU as a junior college transfer here in 1997-98, emphasized that 6-foot-4, 294-pound senior is not only a great quarterback but also a wonderful young man.
"Yes, I'd love to have him back again," the 36-year-old coach said "We still keep in close touch and talk often."
Some observers have suggested that the fact Smith doesn't run with the ball very often might hurt his chances for the Heisman.
"Not at all," Cogdell said "I think Geno's long ball accuracy in the passing game will be a major factor.
"I think he could be effective running the ball, too. I believe he's just as capable running as he is passing the ball."
Smith's former coach just thinks it will be a matter of what's needed in certain situations as West Virginia starts playing in the Big 12 this fall.
Cogdell said he's still glowing over the Mountaineers' 70-33 crushing of Atlantic Coast Champion Clemson in the Orange Bowl in hometown Miami.
"That was an All-American performance," the young coach said. "Everyone down here was very happy that Geno was named the Most Valuable Player and also set and tied some bowl records."
The All-Big East first-team selection had the nation's fourth-best performance in all of last year's bowls.
Smith made the All-Bowl and All-ECAC first teams.
His 407 passing yards against Clemson were an Orange Bowl record, and so were his 433 total offense yards.
His six passing touchdowns also were a record - school and bowl game - and he also set new marks being responsible for a seventh running touchdown and total points for a single game.
Numerous other records for a single season also were shattered.
For his three-year career, Geno Smith has completed 619 in 947 attempts for 7,457 yards (.654 percent) and 56 touchdowns.
He has appeared in 31 games and his longest pass completion covered 84 yards.
As for rushing stats, Smith has rushed 179 times for only a net of 191 yards for an average of just 1.1 per carry and scored two touchdowns.