QB Smith beefs up, thrills WVU's coach

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DALLAS -- There was something different about Geno Smith as he strode the hallways of the Westin Galleria this week at Big 12 media days. He is bigger.

West Virginia's quarterback said he has grown to 225 pounds from around 205 at the close of last season.

"Other than the fact that it probably makes me a better NFL prospect, I don't think it does much for my game," said Smith. "I've never been big on shedding guys. I don't break a lot of tackles. I'm not one of those guys who is going to sit here and say my game is all based on my physical talent. It's mostly mental."

Coach Dana Holgorsen said he encouraged Smith to get in the weight room more to bulk up a bit, but said it's unclear if it will pay off on the field.

"We haven't won a game yet, so I don't know if it does us any good or not. It's not going to hurt," said Holgorsen. "He's been this way forever, talking with his high school coach. He's been a guy that bounces up and down through the hall with the ball in his hands but he never wants to pick up a weight. He'd rather look and watch film than get down there and do pushups."

Holgorsen pointed to Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick in the draft by Indianapolis, making a correlation between size and the NFL: "He physically needed to get a little bigger. Look at Andrew Luck, he's a pretty big specimen, The NFL's going to judge you based on measurables. You still have to produce. I encouraged it."

Weis on PSU transfers

Kansas coach Charlie Weis said Tuesday he expects most programs consider Penn State players may be available via transfer.

"I think that, first of all, you have to be respectful to coach [Bill] O'Brien and the people who are trying to make good of a bad situation," said Weis. "But, at the same time, the rules are the rules. And there's several players that, when the dust settles ... I think there will be several players that entertain the thought of going somewhere else, especially the way it was presented to them.

"So I think that any program that didn't do homework prior to this decision coming out, you know, was behind on that one."

Holgorsen, when asked in a roundabout way if West Virginia would look at any Penn State players, said the program historically has not taken a lot of transfers.

"I think what you want to do is you want to fill your team full of a whole bunch of high school kids and watch them mature over the course of four to five years, which is really what West Virginia has done for the last decade."

Quick hits

Will West Virginia fit into the Big 12 from a cultural standpoint? According to center Joe Madsen, yes. He joked: "I hope so. I see all the cowgirls and everything. West Virginia, we're big hillbilly guys with beards and mohawks and we're ready to go." ... The Big 12 presented an in-depth look at the latest NCAA rule changes Tuesday, including the controversial helmet rule where a player must leave the field for a down if his helmet comes off during a play.


First Published July 25, 2012 4:00 AM


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