Stew's Views - Part III

Here is the final installment of a three-part series on Bill Stewart's comments on his first class.

The 23 recruits make it among the largest group of signees in West Virginia history. Here, Stewart gives comments on four defensive and three offensive players, including quarterback Coley White, brother of current Mountaineer starter Patrick.

Stewart, on Bernard Smith, a 6-2, 220-pound defensive lineman out of Atlanta: "He will drive the mentors right out of their mind. He is a very high motor, high-end guy. When we put the film in one day it looked like sprinters coming out of the wooden blocks. It is unbelievable what explosion this guy brings to the table. He can flat get it and he is a treat. We need a little spice around here. Sometimes we get too serious. I sure like him."

Bio: Coached by Jessie Soloman at Benjamin E. Mays High School … named to the Georgia Sportswriters' Association Class 4A first-team all-state … earned All-Atlanta honors … had a team-leading 125 tackles, including 75 solo tackles, 22 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles and four forced fumbles as a senior … led the state of Georgia in solo tackles … punted the ball 25 times for an average of 37.7 yards per punt … rated No. 4 rush end in Georgia by the Atlanta Journal Constitution … helped lead the Raiders to a 9-3 record, a second-place finish to Tucker High School in the conference standings and advance to the second round of the state playoffs … selected to play in the Georgia North-South All-Star Game …had a season-high 15 tackles in 25-0 win over Lakeside High School and four sacks in a 14-0 win over Miller Grove High School … selected honorable mention all-state class 4-A as a junior … led Benjamin E. Mays to a 10-3 record as a junior and advance to the second round of the state playoffs … son of Constance Nealey.

On Courtney Stuart, a 6-3, 220-pound safety from Phoenix College: "He looks identical to Ryan Mundy. I think and I hope, I wish I could say I know, he will play like Ryan Mundy. This guy is a good looking guy. He can make plays. He came because of what our defense can do. These safeties and corners in our defense have a real chance to go to pro ball."

Bio: Coached by former Mountaineer standout Dale Wolfley at Phoenix College … registered 56 tackles, four forced fumbles and one interception as a sophomore in 2007 … selected honorable mention all-Western States Football League … runs a 4.45/40-yard dash and benches 315 pounds … coached by John Wrenn at Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. … selected honorable mention all-state as a senior … helped lead Hamilton to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the state championship game … son of Greg and Lisa Smith.

On Jerome Swinton, a 5-9, 160-pound cornerback from Daytona Beach: "The best football player we have, and he is not a very big man. That speed right there, he is quick and explosive. The guy can run and he will hit you. It's probably the best football player we recruited. This guy can play. I think the 34-inch vertical isn't giving him nearly enough credit."

Bio: Coached by Mark Beach at Seabreeze Senior High School … finished with 48 tackles and blocked a punt as a senior … a first-team Class 4A all-state defense selection … named all-Central Florida by the Orlando Sentinel … an All-Southeast Region selection by Super Prep … helped lead Seabreeze to a 12-1 record and an appearance in the state semifinals … collected 53 tackles, three interceptions and eight pass breakups as a junior … runs a 4.31/40-yard dash, has a 34-inch vertical jump and bench presses 265 pounds … son of Jerome Swinton and Diane Pollard.

On Tyler Urban, a 6-4, 240-pound tight end out of North Huntingdon, Pa.: "I drove 501 miles on Thursday night before an announcement to go into this young man's home. It was worth every mile on a Thursday night in December. Maybe it bonded us. This guy was going to another school (Maryland) and we beat that school. He was committed and we go rolling. This is going to be a very good investment for the West Virginia University Mountaineers. He can be an Owen Schmitt-type player for us, playing fullback and tight end. I am thrilled. He dunks a basketball and I think about driving that night. It worked out well."

Bio: Coached by Dan Conwell at Norwin Senior High School … as a senior, rushed for 510 yards on 80 carries and scored seven touchdowns as a fullback … registered 79 tackles and seven sacks … scored two touchdowns and two sacks in a playoff win over Woodland Hills … selected second-team all-state class 4A … Pittsburgh Tribune Review's Terrific 25 … named all-WPIAL Quad-South Conference … helped lead the Knights to a 7-4 record and an appearance in the WPIAL quarterfinals … as a junior, he collected 70 tackles and seven sacks … rushed for 500 yards and a 6.2 yards per carry average … member of the National Honor Society … son of James and Debra Urban.

On Coley White, a 6-1, 175-pound quarterback out of Daphne, Ala.: "Let me assure you right now that Coley White was recruited because he is Coley White. Let's get that right to the point. Coley White is a very, very talented young man. He can run. Oh, can he run. I asked Pat today if he was quicker. He would not answer me. I don't know if he is quicker or faster. This guy has a chance. Let him be Coley White. I hope Bill Stewart will take that advice. This is a remarkable family and quality young man. Bo White (older brother) was on staff here and is at Glenville and I am hoping he will have a position here soon (quality control coach). This guy, the third, I hope he is the best of the three. He has it all ahead of him."

Bio: Coached by Glenn Vickery at Daphne High School … brother of two-time BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Pat White … accounted for almost 2,500 yards of total offense as a senior, 964 yards rushing and 1,500 yards passing … selected all-county and named conference player of the week … helped Daphne to an 11-2 record and a state 6A runner-up finish … named Daphne High School's Student of the Month … also runs track … runs a 4.5/40-yard dash and bench presses 230 pounds … son of James and Vonametris White.

On J.D. Woods, a 6-2, 180-pound wide receiver from Naples, Fla.: "I did not know the guy was that good. I saw a basketball player with 1,000 points. He got that as a junior. This guy has a chance to be very, very special. He will stretch the field vertically."

Bio: Coached by Dave Tanner at Golden Gate High School … played wide receiver in high school, collecting 54 catches for 851 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior … an all-state selection as a senior … earned first-team All-Southwest Florida accolades … a two-time first team all-district and All-Collier County Athletic Conference honoree … helped Golden Gate to a 6-5 finish and a first-round appearance in the state playoffs … collected 28 receptions for 584 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior … four-year starter on the basketball team … participates in the triple jump, the long jump and the 400m dash on the track team … earned honorable mention all-state honors as a junior in basketball and was all-district and all-conference in track … runs a 4.5/40-yard dash and bench presses 230 pounds … son of Freddie and Williamena McCrary and John Blackmon.

On Jorge Wright, a 6-3, 260-pound defensive lineman from Miami: "We went in there, Doc and myself, and what a great time. This guy was offered by some schools down south. We turned this guy from a couple SEC schools, and there was a school up north, not too close to us, that he turned down a visit and a full scholarship. He would not go on the visit. You talk about exciting for us. We were rolling down the highway. Doc worked his magic, and this young man is 4.7 (40) at 260 pounds."

Bio: Coached by Rick Divita at Dr. Krop High School … registered 62 tackles and 18 sacks as a senior … selected All-Dade County honorable mention … selected to play in the Dade North-South All-Star game … helped team to a 7-3 record … two-year letterwinner in wrestling … runs a 4.7/40-yard dash and bench presses 275 pounds … son of Jorge and Dr. Ellen Wright.

"You know," Stewart concluded, "Ten (signees) would have been fine. Bobby Ross at Georgia Tech signed 13 players his first year. A few years later he played for the big one. I asked why. He said he wanted to make sure and know about every single guy. I know we have the will to do that. I want to play for a big trophy. But Bobby Ross instilled in me to get character young men."

BlueGoldNews Top Stories