Hometown: Piscataway, NJ
Record: 16-5-2, Bowl Record: 0-1
Jay Kearney was not always a Mountaineer. He came to West Virginia following his sophomore season at Hudson Valley Community College along with teammate Tim Brown. Kearney gave the Mountaineers a talented, tall receiving target for quarterback Jake Kelchner. Kearney was not an immediate starter for the Mountaineers, having to work into the offense during 1992. That season, Kearney would amass pedestrian statistics for 1992 with 20 receptions for 282 yards and two touchdowns. Kearney would explode onto the scene in 1993, lighting up opposing secondaries. Kearney stacked up 29 receptions for 750 yards receiving and 5 touchdowns. Kearney career with the Mountaineers, while brief, was impactful. Without Kearney’s big play ability, the 1993 Mountaineers would not have been able to complete an undefeated regular season.
Memorable Game: West Virginia had one of the most memorable seasons in school history. The Mountaineers ran out 11 straight wins to complete an undefeated regular season. One of those early wins in the 1993 season came against the Missouri Tigers. The game came after a narrow road win against Maryland. WVU jumped all over Missouri that day at Mountaineer Field. Missouri moved the ball well against the Mountaineer defense, but could not hold onto the pigskin. Missouri gave up 6 turnovers, giving WVU short fields to work with. Kelchner to Kearney was a potent combination this day. Kearney pulled in 125 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Competition: Kearney’s short career shown brightest amongst the #18s. The biggest competition to Kearney was probably Abraham Jones. Kearney’s contributions to the 1993 team were enough to earn the selection at #18.
Teaser: The athlete at #17 is only the second quarterback of this countdown. This player was two year phenom just like Kearney was for the Mountaineers. Speaking of being a big deal for a short amount of time, no one in Hollywood exemplifies this quite like Alec Baldwin. I mean really, he drops off the face of the Earth for years, but only recently has re-emerged. He has been a major success as Jack Donaghy and recently as Jake in the movie It’s Complicated.