Kyle’s Korner …
Owen Schmitt is a folk hero when it comes to West Virginia and Mountaineer football.
Since he finished his career with WVU, he has been playing in the NFL. This season the burly fullback is on the roster with the silver and black clad Oakland Raiders. Schmitt should fit right in with the Raiders.
He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Schmitt has also played for the Philadelphia Eagles.
After graduation from high school, he enrolled at Division Three all-conference honors in only nine games, he decided to walk on at WVU.
Schmitt became the starter that fall as a sophomore for the 2005 season. That was a breakout season. He was active as both a rusher and as a primary blocker. At the midpoint of the season, freshman Steve Slaton earned the starting spot at halfback, with quarterback Pat White at the helm.
This trio is arguably the best to ever start together in the Mountaineer backfield.
Schmitt hopefully will get a chance to play with Oakland. I’m sure if he does, he’ll make an impression with the Raiders coaching staff, just like he did when he walked into Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown.
Several other Mountaineers don the rosters of NFL teams. Seahawks first round pick Bruce Irwin should see action as a pass rush defensive end. He is loaded with physical talent and getting to the quarterbacks is his specialty.
It’s too bad the late Al Davis isn’t around to see Schmitt. He would love the hard-nosed play of Schmitt, who is a throwback to the Raiders heyday of the 1960s and 1970s.
Here is a list of other former Mounties on NFL rosters: Selvish Capers, OL for the Giants; Chris Neild, DT for the Redskins (injured); J.T. Thomas, LB for the Bears; Don Barclay, OL for the Packers; Brandon Hogan, CB for the Panthers; Najee Goode, LB for the Buccaneers; Keith Tandy, CB for the Buccaneers; Darius Reynaud, WR for the Titans; Pat McAfee, P for the Colts; Ryan Mundy, S for the Steelers; Will Johnson, RB for the Steelers; Morty Ivy, LB for the Steelers; Adam Jones, CB for the Bengals; Robert Sands, S for the Bengals; Steve Slaton, RB for the Dolphins; Corey McIntyre, RB for the Bills; and there are a few more trying to hook up with teams as free agents.
I would love to have seen Pat White get another chance in the NFL. Maybe if the talented quarterback would have moved to another position like wide receiver, he may still be on a NFL roster.
Regardless, WVU is well represented in the NFL.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)