Sidelined Senior

Sitting on the sideline is difficult for any football player, but it's especially hard to sit out as your senior season is coming to an end. Center Mike Dent has had to do just that for West Virginia's last three games, and it has been a trying experience as he watched his last games as a collegian dwindle away.

"It's hard. For the last three games I have been on the sidelines just trying to be the best teammate that I can be," said Dent, who suffered a neck injury against Connecticut and hasn't played since. "I've been trying to be like a coach to Eric Jobe. At times, you just want to be out there. That's the toughest part I think."

Dent is hoping to return to the field this week against South Florida. While he says that he is at 100%, he will still need to be evaluated by a medical staff to make the final decision. He has started to think about what it will be like if he has to sit out his final game at Mountaineer Field.

"Obviously, it would hurt a little bit. Everybody says ‘Play like it's your last play' and sometimes you take that for granted. Obviously it will be an emotional night because all the guys are leaving. It will be hard; it was hard the last three games to watch. If it's the best for my health and the best for the team then that's just what I will have to do," Dent said.

Whether Dent gets to play another down of his collegiate career, he has made his mark in Mountaineer history. He stepped in to fill the shoes of all-American Dan Mozes and earned second team all-Big East honors during his first season as a starter. Despite all of his accomplishments and the success of the football program, Dent will miss the camaraderie with his teammates the most.

"I've made a lot of friendships. (I will miss) the locker room. You just get close to the guys you're here with, especially the guys that you came in with in 2004. I think that's what I will miss the most," Dent said.

Although he has had a five-year career at West Virginia, Dent, like most other seniors is surprised at how quickly time has gone as he looks back. But with just two games left, he hasn't taken the time to look back just yet. He still has a few more things that he hopes to achieve.

"During the journey, it seemed like it was slow but now that we're at the end it didn't seem very long," Dent said. "I think once you're done playing for good then you should be able to sit back and reflect on how it was. I think while you're playing you should still have goals and want more accomplishments," Dent said.

Simply getting back into uniform and on the field for his final two games would certainly be one of those. However it shakes out, though, he will be able to look back on an excellent career at West Virginia.

Mike Dent Profile

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