Welcome back to the second installment of The Smoking Musket's weekly 'Where Are They Now?' column. This is your one stop resource to find out what your former Mountaineers are up to in life beyond Morgantown.
In this week's edition of WVU's Where Are They Now?, a couple former Mountaineer kickers made some news. One was a surprising move, the other, not so much. Two former players get into coaching. Pat White made news without actually doing anything. As did Da'Sean Butler and Devin Ebanks. Former Mountaineer baseball player, Jedd Gyrko, is making a name for himself in the Padres organization. There's some other tidbits in here as well, including a Tom Brady blast. Here we go...
- I asked former Mountaineer, Avon Cobourne, who plays for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL what he thought about the possibility of Pat White playing in Canada, Cobourne said that White would be "Scary. I think that he would be a great QB up here. He'd fit in perfectly." Last week, White's player rights were picked up by the Toronto Argonauts. They seem to be very interested in signing White, who retired from baseball in February. Ben Kercheval of WV Metro News reported that White will not attend a CFL Free Agent camp to be held in Orlando next week. But don't take this as a sign that White is not interested in playing in the CFL. The Free Agent Camp occurs during the days just before White is to be a captain at the Old-Timers Game before the annual Blue-Gold Game on April 29th. White had previously committed to being the captain of one of the squads. Kercheval also said in the article that White was dropped from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers negotiation list after White wanted more money than the Blue Bombers were willing to give. He was then picked up for negotiations by the Toronto Argonauts last week. The 'Negotiation List' is how the CFL determines who can try to pick up NFL free-agents. This tells me that if White is interested in negotiating a contract, then he's interested in playing Canadian-style football.
- The man Peyton Manning once called an 'Idiot Kicker' during a public tiff several years ago has been hired to coach a startup high school football program for the Marco Island Academy in Florida. Mike Vanderjagt lives on the island where he owns a restaurant. Now he's out to try on a new hat: coaching. The man that coaches once considered a nuisance offers this to the Naples News:
"Basically, coaching at this age is like an artist's version of a blank canvas," Vanderjagt said. "You can kind of mold them to be a good player because they have not preconceived notions about sports."
Another former Mountaineer also threw his hat into the coaching ring this past week. Former Mountaineer basketball center, Rob Summers, has been hired as an assistant coach for the Glenville St. Pioneers He played for the Mountaineers in 2006 and 2007. He spent much of this past season in Morgantown, observing how Bob Huggins does things. As Tony Caridi pointed out, Summers will be the tallest coach in the WVIAC.
"I sit in the stands and just take in practice," Summers told West Virginia Illustrated. "I sit there and observe how Huggs was and how he talked to guys and just watched the plays. I would sit down and try to talk to Huggs as much as I could. I tried to soak in all the knowledge that he has."
- Da'Sean Butler watched Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs from the Spurs' owner's box. Devin Ebanks has been suited up, Barney Stinson style, on the Lakers' sideline for the Playoffs. Ebanks is listed as 'Out Indefinitely."
- 2010 Brooks Wallace Award Winner, Jedd Gyrko, is making a name for himself in the Padres organization. The former Mountaineer third baseman bats 3rd for the Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League (Advanced A) is hitting .364 with 4 doubles and a homer through twelve games. If he keeps that pace up, he could get promoted to AA San Antonio sometime this summer.
- Pat McAfee leads an interesting life, from being found drunk and shirtless in a canal to riding around Indianapolis in a Chicken Limo to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, to sending a 9-year-old cancer patient to the Super Bowl. We told you last week about the Colts not honoring the poll to add McAfee's dome to the outside of Lucas Oil Stadium, he shows up in an article from Las Vegas called 'Strip Scribbles,' with another former Mountaineer, Jerry Porter. Remember: no CBA= no Conduct Policy.
"Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel kicked off its eighth season yesterday when a helicopter hovered above the pool and dropped thousands of balls that contained more than $100,000 in cash and prizes for the 4,000 revelers, among them Isaiah Ekejiuba and Michael Huff of the Oakland Raiders, Jerry Porter of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Pat McAfee of the Indianapolis Colts."
- And finally, I know this is a couple weeks old, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention Marc Bulger's role in the 'Brady 6.' The documentary that ESPN ran 4/12 about the six quarterbacks that were taken ahead of Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft. More to the point, I would just like to point out something to the arrogant, Justin Beiber-haired-to-cover-a-bald-spot, I-marry-supermodels-because-someone-has-to-do-it, Mr. Brady. In the film Brady referred to Bulger as a 'small-school' guy. Um, Tom, WVU has an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students. That is almost equal to the entire population of Parkersburg, thank you very much. Michigan's enrollment is larger at over 40,000, but still, WVU is not a small school, jerk.