Welcome back to another edition of WVU's Where Are They Now? The weekly column that is your one-spot-stop to catch up on news that your former Mountaineers have made during the past week. I scour the internet for news, blurbs, and other tidbits about what former Mountaineers are up to in life outside of Morgantown.
The world did not end last Saturday in the Rapture, life went on as usual (who really expected that it wouldn't?), and former Mountaineers made news. Imagine that?
Perhaps no other former Mountaineer made more news than new Chicago Bear, J.T. Thomas. If you haven't heard by now, Thomas took Joslyn Levell, a 14 year-old with spina bifida, to her 8th grade prom. We were one of the first to tell you about that. In the past week. Thomas made appearances on ESPN and the Jim Rome Show this week to talk about the experience.
Besides Thomas, other Mountaineers made news. After Darryl Talley was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame last week, another Mountaineer was elected to the WV Hall of Fame. A few players took part in off-season NFL workouts. I asked Buffallo Bills FB, Corey McIntyre, a few questions about how his workouts were going. Mike Vanderjagt goes through his first practices as a HS football coach with a special guest. Jedd Gyorko is in pursuit of a rare feat in the California League. I have the weekly Marc Bulger It May or Not Be News item of the week with some other notes. Here goes...
Canute Curtis- Curtis is the former Mountaineer linebacker that terrorized Big East defenses on his way to a school record 34.5 sacks (although Bruce Irvin may have something to say about that this season). Curtis is currently an assistant coach for the Towson Tigers. Curtis now has another accomplishment to add to his resume: a member of the WVU Hall of Fame. Curtis was the headliner elected to the 2011 class among five other players. Other honorees include Warren Baker, Joseph Harrick, Jim Heise, Pat Itanyi Williams, and Steve Newberry.
Jedd Gyorko- The week after being named as the top Minor League Hot Prospect, Gyorko gets another award. At the pace Gyorko is going, he could win the Triple Crown on his team by leading the team in HRs, RBIs, and Batting Average.He leads all categories with a .398 batting average, 11 homers and 45 RBIs. Last week he was named as Minor League baseball's Offensive Player of the Week.
The Padres grabbed West Virginia product Jedd Gyorko in the second round of last year's Draft, and the 22-year-old infielder is already succeeding in Class A Advanced ball. After finishing the previous week with a two-homer Sunday, Gyorko went yard again Monday and had a double, a single, two stolen bases, an RBI and two runs scored Tuesday. He was a triple shy of the cycle on a five-RBI Wednesday and missed out on the feat by a double Friday. Although he chilled out by going 0-for-7 over Saturday and Sunday, he did manage a stolen base and a run scored between those games.
Dan Mozes- The former 4-year starter and Remington Award winner for the Mountaineers hasn't played since 2008. He did serve as a strength coach at Michigan under former Mountaineer strength coach, Mike Barwis. Both Barwis and Mozes left the Michigan program after Rich Rodriguez was fired. Now they plan on opening a training center in Plymouth, MI in June with Barwis.
It’s a job where you go to work from five to eight at night," Mozes said. "You’re making somebody else better, and I love doing it. It’s a job that I wake up every morning and I’m happy to be in there.
"We made a great, great relationship with a lot of professional athletes, the hockey guys, football guys, professional baseball players. Guys up there who were going to professional levels and coming back and saying, we don’t want you to leave, we’re willing to pay big money and have you train us, because we developed a great relationship with you guys."
Mike Vanderjagt- I told you weeks ago about Mike Vanderjagt getting hired to start a HS football program for the Marco Island Charter Middle School in Florida. The school is new, and it wanted to start a football program. Vanderjagt owns a restaurant on the island. They asked him to do it and he agreed. Last week, he held his first practices as a coach, and he invited an old friend to lend a hand: Tony Dungy. Dungy coached Vanderjagt while he was a member of the Indianapolis Colts. While at the practices, Dungy talked about the coaching philosophy that goes into the Tampa-2 defense. The defense he created while he was the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also talked about the importance of everyone knowing their roles on the team.
"We learned a lot from Tony," Vanderjagt said. "He's a great man who didn't have to do that and he took time out of his schedule to help the MICMS football program get headed in the right direction. Anyone who's associated with the football team, the school or the island for that matter should be pretty excited about what took place."
"My intention is to run the team as much like Tony did as I can."
Vanderjagt and his Marco Island team plays their first game on September 1.
Former Players Taking Part In Off-Season NFL Workouts
Corey McIntyre (Bills), Chris Neild (Redskins), Darius Reynaud (Giants) were all reported to take part in their respective teams player held practices this past week. The word on Twitter about Corey McIntyre during scrimmages were that he was seen busting a path through every defender in his way and running over others while he had the ball.
I asked McIntyre if the practices were getting to him after he Tweeted that he was sore. He replied, "Some of the things are. But I'm tough." I asked him about the reports of him running over everyone at the practices, and he said, "Yes, sir. That's what I do."
The Marc Bulger It May or Not Be News Item of the Week
Prior to the NFL Draft, Bulger was reported to have said that he would like to have the opportunity to start again and would like to play for a team somewhere near where his wife is a doctor in St. Louis. Reports also surfaced that Bulger had an 'understanding' with the Arizona Cardinals that he would sign with them and be their starting quarterback after the lockout ends. Since then, reports surfaced that the Cardinals were now interested in trading for either the Philadelphia Eagles Kevin Kolb or the Denver Broncos Kyle Orton. No mention was made of the previous 'understanding' the Cards had with Bulger. This week, reports surfaced that Bulger would be interested in staying on the East Coast, possibly remaining with the Baltimore Ravens as a backup to Joe Flacco or going to the Miami Dolphins to compete with Chad Henne according to ESPN's John Clayton.