Hometown: Fairfax, VA
Record: 33-5, Bowl Record: 3-0 including two BCS wins
The day I have been waiting for has arrived: Owen Schmitt day. Schmitt is definitely my favorite Mountaineer player of all time. He played with reckless abandon, running through defenders and smashing a few facemasks along the way. Amazingly enough, Owen Schmitt was almost a Terrapin. Schmitt played his freshman season for Wisconsin- River Falls, a Division III school. He wanted to play FBS football and set out to find a school. He first went to College Park, to play in Coach Ralph Friedgen’s pro style offense. The Fridge, having such an eye for talent, decided to ignore Schmitt, sending him packing for Morgantown. Coach Rich Rodriguez would not let Owen leave town without signing with the Mountaineers. That decision would pay immediate dividends for the Mountaineers. Schmitt would win the starting fullback spot his sophomore season giving WVU a tough physical rusher to compliment Slaton and White. He would ultimately tally 1,003 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. Schmitt also (according to legend) recorded 10 broken facemasks. He gave everything he had to the Mountaineers, as evidenced by his reaction at the conclusion of the 2008 Fiesta Bowl.
Memorable Game: While Owen had a memorable performance in the Fiesta Bowl, his best performance came in the 2007 Gator Bowl against Georgia Tech. West Virginia came into the game against the Yellow Jackets without Steve Slaton who was out with an injured leg. Schmitt would serve as the featured running back this day. Schmitt would carry the ball 13 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Scmitt and Slaton combined to dominate the Georgia Tech defense. The Mountaineers would need to mount a late comeback. West Virginia trailed in the 3rd quarter by a score of 35-17. White and Schmitt motored WVU to a late 38-35 win.
Competition: With this author, there was no competition for #35. When you go up against my favorite Mountaineer player, there is no way to make this spot. I won’t even mention anyone else, Schmitt is just that awesome.
Teaser: Tomorrow’s athlete is an oldie but a goody. This player was a predecessor to rushers like Owen Schmitt, much like Marconi’s radio was the predecessor to today’s satellite radio. Anyways, tomorrow we honor a former “radio star.”