WVU's Where Are They Now? The 5/7/2011 Former Mountaineers Look To Make A Name For Themselves Edition

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)


Welcome back to yet another WVU's Where Are They Now? The column that is your one-spot-stop for keeping track of what your former Mountaineers are up to in life beyond Morgantown. We'll take a look at what one option might be for Noel Devine and Jock Sanders when the NFL lockout ends, another former Mountaineer lands a coaching gig, one declines a coaching gig and, of course, the obligatory Marc Bulger It May Or Not Be News item of the week among other tidbits.

Patrick Beilein- Joining Rob Summers and Mike Vanderjagt, another former Mountaineer is has made the transition from player to coach. After serving as an assistant coach last year for Dartmouth, the son of the former Men's basketball coach started a his new job this week: director of basketball operations for Bradley University. The job involves administrative work along with film breakdown. It is a non-recruiting role. 

Joe Mazzulla- We told you last week that Mazzulla has the option of going into coaching or playing basketball overseas. At the age of 22, Mazzulla apparently is not ready to give up playing basketball. West Virginia Illustrated's Geoff Coyle, reported that Mazzulla has decided to take his talents overseas.

"I never wanted to regret that I didn't play," Mazzulla told Coyle. "Two years from now I obviously would have given all I have into coaching, but I probably would have had playing in the back of my mind and that may have affected my coaching ability. I really want to get playing out of my system, whether it's three, four, five, or six years. I'd rather have someone instead of walk away." 

Anthony Becht- The former 1st round pick is now 34 and without an NFL team. And he's fine with that. If a team comes calling, he's fine with that too. Becht is looking to transition to a life outside of the NFL. One of the things he does is put on football camps for kids. It's more than that too.

"We try to teach the kids about every position. We take an open-book approach to education. Sports, and in particular football, helped mold me into the person I am today." Becht told the Hernando Today. "I believe sports are for everybody. Having that teamwork mentality can apply to everyone in every facet of life."

"The camp isn't about learning football, per se," Becht continued. "During lunch, we'll break up into smaller groups and talk about mentoring kids, life experiences, and anti-bullying programs that help shape someone's character."

Becht will put on 5 camps this summer, including one June 9-11 at Weeki Wachee HS in Hernando County, FL.

Robert Sands- Sands will wear the #49 jersey for the Bengals. Josh Kirkendall of the Cincy Jungle (an SB Nation Blog) writes that Sands has an opportunity to make the #49 his own. Bengal's CB Coach, Kevin Croyle, seems excited to have Sands on board.

"We’re very happy to be able to choose Robert Sands at this point in the draft. He’s a guy with some unique qualities," Bengals defensive backs coach Kevin Croyle said. "He’s very tall — an angular guy — who’s six-foot-four and 217 pounds. He has played in a lot of different spots in the scheme they run at West Virginia. They’ve utilized him in a lot of places because he’s a rare athlete who can run. He has some very good football instincts."

 

Owen Schmitt- The Philadelphia Eagles brought Schmitt on board to fill in for injured starting FB, Leonard Weaver, last season. In an article for PhillySports24.7.com, Weaver tells Gary Cobb that he is doubtful to return for the upcoming season. My guess is that the Eagles knew this before the Draft when they drafted Mark Havili in the 7th round to push Schmitt for the starting job. 

Noel Devine and Jock Sanders- Sander of Bucs Nation (another SB Nation blog) writes that one of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers biggest needs that did not get filled in last week's NFL Draft was at RB. The Bucs are looking for a change-of-pace back, and will look towards free-agency to fill that need. Sander wrote that the two RBs that the Bucs are most likely to target are Noel Devine and Jock Sanders. The Buccaneers have a good recent history of developing undrafted free-agent RBs: last year, LeGarrette Blount was an undrafted free-agent out of Oregon that led all NFL rookies in rushing with over 1,000 yards. So, Devine or Sanders signing with the Buccaneers might be a smart move.

Mike Vanderjagt- In our 2nd edition of WVU's Where Are They Now?, we told you about Mike Vanderjagt getting hired to start a high school football program for Island Academy on Marco Island, FL. They held tryouts earlier this week, and, later on this summer, Vanderjagt will be the emcee for a series of speaking engagements put on by the Marco Island YMCA to encourage young atheletes and teach them about the road to success. I can hear it now. Vanderjagt can end every event with this line, "Remember kids, stay smart, stay strong, and don't bean idiot kicker."

Charles Fisher- The former all-Big East CB and 2nd round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals talks about how coming back to Morgantown is like coming home. With his NFL career cut short due to a horrific knee injury in his first game as a Bengal, Fisher is an entrepreneur off the field as well as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks

The Marc Bulger News That May or Not Be News of the Week: After rumors spread before the NFL Draft that the Arizona Cardinals had an 'understanding' in place with Marc Bulger, another rumor came out this week that is contradictory to that. The word is that the Cardinals have another 'understanding' in place with the Philadelphia Eagles to trade for backup QB, Kevin Kolb, when and if the lockout ends. I've also heard rumors of the Carolina Panthers being interested in Bulger to come in and tutor Cam Newton and Jimmy Clausen here on the local radio stations in Charlotte, NC. The NFL Networks, Jason LaCantora, believes that Bulger 'is done' as a starting QB.

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