Learning Curve

Corey Smith has taken two trips to West Virginia over the past month, but the star kicker said that his most recent visit, on WVU's Mar. 3 Junior Day, was something different.

"It was a lot different than other days I have been," said Smith, who was also at WVU on Feb. 10 for the Mountaineers' basketball win over UCLA. "There was a lot more individual and one-on-one time on this trip.

We started out at 10:00 a.m. in a group, and toured the weight room, locker rooms and indoor facility. Then we broke up into our position groups, and talked to our recruiting coaches and the recruiting coordinator for our area. I talked with coach Bill Stewart for about a half-hour. But the biggest thing was that we got to ask some of the current players questions without the coaches around. Some of the players that we talked to were Marc Magro, Ryan Stanchek, Patrick White and J.T. Thomas. We all had questions for them."

So, what were some of the topics discussed?

"We asked about the biggest differences between high school and college, what the dorms and living was like, a lot of things," Smith related. "They told us that the speed of the game and the talent of guys you face on the field are the biggest differences."

Smith also confirmed that West Virginia has offered him a scholarship – the second for the Musselman standout. Alabama has offered as well, and Virginia is contemplating one as well.

"I am going to go to Alabama on Mar. 23rd and 24th, said Smith. "Virginia was talking about me coming down over the summer, but since I have already been offered by two other schools, they might have an offer for me too."

Smith might not wait that long to make a decision, however.

"I hope to make a decision before May, he said. "I want to know what I am working for and where I am going to be. I don't want to go into my senior year not knowing that. I think making an early decision might take a little pressure off, even though pressure doesn't really bother me. Maybe ‘having a little more freedom' says it better."


Smith attended three WVU football games this past fall, so he is has learned a great deal about the Mountaineer program. He wants to learn about the other schools showing interest in him as well, but admits that the lure of the home state school is strong.

"Certainly after junior day a school is fresh in your memory. I do want to see what each school has to offer. There are things I like about each school – each one has its strong points. For example, really love West Virginia's strength coach."

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Smith, who is being recruited as a punter and a placekicker, believes he can do both in college.

"I don't have a favorite between the two," he said. "For must people it is difficult to do both, because of the different leg swings, but I think I can do it. Consistency is the difficult part. I like to start out punting because it's a straight leg swing, but I think I can do both."

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