Hometown: North Babylon, NY
Record: 22-24, Bowl Record: 1-1
So did I throw you off the scent yesterday with the talk of Rahsaan Vanterpool having an imposing stature? I threw that bit out there with tongue in cheek. Vanterpool, 5’11”, was not small by any means, but played like a small receiver. He was a shifty wide out that was very competent at executing reverses. Vanterpool started his Mountaineer career as a slot receiver. His great ability to make tough catches over the middle as a freshman led to a starting receiver gig his sophomore season. The increased snaps led to Vanterpool snaring 50 passes for 849 yards and 5 touchdowns. Expectations for Vanterpool were high heading into the 1995 season. Unfortunately for Vanterpool and the Mountaineers, he would fight off injuries for the rest of his WVU career. When healthy, he provided an excellent complement to David Saunders. Vanterpool would total 1,027 yards receiving and 6 touchdowns. Had Vanterpool been able to remain healthy his last two seasons, he could have been an All-Big East performer.
Memorable Game: The pinnacle performance of Rahsaan Vanterpool’s career came in the 1994 edition of the Backyard Brawl. The match-up featured two high-flying offenses. Both the Mountaineers and the Panthers put on an aerial display, passing for nearly 1,000 yards combined. Rahsaan Vanterpool was responsible for piling up 205 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The game looked to be easily within hand for the Mountaineers who held a 33-6 lead at halftime. Pitt came marching right back, tieing the game at 33-33. Vanterpool caught the second of his touchdown passes on a deep reception to give WVU the lead back at 40-33. Pitt managed to take a one point lead late in the 4th quarter on an option, 41-40. The Panthers home crowd exploded in jubilation, thinking they had dealt the death blow to the Mountaineers. Chad Johnston knew that the Panthers had left too much time on the clock. Johnston connected with Zach Abraham on a bomb down the sideline to give Mountaineers a 47-41 lead with 0:15 left in the game. The Mountaineers close victory left the Pitt fans heart-broken.
Competition: Vanterpool has the name recognition to carry the selection here. It also helps that #26 is not a stacked number for the Mountaineers. The other options included Carmen Connolly and Anthony Mims. For my money, Vanterpool is the best of the bunch.
Teaser: The player honored at #25 was a tremendous talent out of Huntington, WV. He was as big in Huntington in the 1950s as Randy Moss was in the 1990s. Believe me, I grew up outside of Huntington: people in Huntington were obsessed with Randy Moss. Every kid in school had a Vikings #84 jersey. You know what was an equally big deal when I was younger? Bobby’s World (by now, if you have been reading all these posts, you have to appreciate my random taste in pop culture).