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Mountaineer Morning Links: Monday (4/29/13) Edition

NFL Draft, free agent signings, baseball sweeps Kansas, Big 12 roundup & more


Welcome, By-Godders, to the Shotgun/Throwdown, WVU's nationally recognized best place for sports links, information, sophomoric humor and daily distractions. We're being brought to you today by Shotz Beer, in honor of today's Miss Throwdown.

What You May Have Missed:

Gold and Blue Now: Monday, April 29 - WV MetroNews
Geno Smith talks about his draft weekend experience and how it feels to be a New York Jet, five former Mountaineers sign free agent contracts and Randy Mazey talks about his team and their motivation for this season.

Filauro’s Walk Off Leads to Sweep - WVU Athletics
The WVU baseball team swept Kansas on Saturday afternoon.

WVU Kansas Video\Photo Recap - BGN
West Virginia completed its first ever Big 12 series sweep with a pair of wins over Kansas on Saturday.

Beckley, Epling Stadium proved themselves this weekend - Register-Herald
"We had great crowds out here. They had the ‘Let’s Go Mountaineers’ chant going, and our guys respond to that. That gives us energy and passion to play, and hopefully the people that came to watch us will come back because they liked what they saw."

Walter adjusting to new role in WVU bullpen - Daily Athenaeum
In the midst of his mid-season slump, head coach Randy Mazey sent Walter to the bullpen in hopes a change would rejuvenate his scuffling right-hander.

Furfari: Benn was LB star at WVU - Martinsburg Journal
David Benn of Akron, Ohio, was an outstanding linebacker on the West Virginia University football team from1968-70.

2013 undrafted free agents: Tracking the best of the rest -
(Keep refreshing the page for the latest UDFA signings below)

News of Note:

Draft to help Austin improve family’s life - Charleston Daily Mail
"The goal was to get my mother and my grandmother out of the city," Austin said. "I don't know if they want to leave, but I'll definitely get them a better house in a gated community so they don't have to worry about living in the hood.

Rams hope Austin can withstand NFL rigors - Charleston Daily Mail
"That's definitely not going to (ever go away)," Austin said during a conference call. "I just have to keep my heart up, keep my mind right and keep grinding every day in practice. Take care of my body, just keep fighting the critics off like I've been doing since I was young."

Austin Finds Great Fit With Rams - BGN
Tavon Austin rose quickly up the draft charts following his NFL Combine performance and a round of impressive single-team visits and workouts, but even with all the buzz he didn't expect to be the first skill-position player taken in the NFL Draft.

HERTZEL COLUMN: Smith, Austin set to make the big bucks - Times West Virginian
This is the week Geno Smith’s and Tavon Austin’s lives changed.

Geno Smith has to get over NFL draft first-round snub now that he's a New York Jet; more Snaps -
You don't have to like it, falling out of a first round you thought was your certain fate. But you have to let it go now.

Sticking around pays off for Geno - Charleston Gazette
For most of Geno Smith's life, he was able to control the bad things that happened to him.

Smith: WVU offense ‘let me grow’ - WV MetroNews
"Luckily in my (college) offense I was given a tremendous amount of freedom," he said.

Smith ready to ‘compete’ for QB job - Times West Virginian
Mountaineers sign free agent deals

HERTZEL COLUMN: Bailey flies under radar in NFL draft - Times West Virginian
See, no one really knew about Stedman Bailey, not with Austin doing the miraculous things he did on a regular basis, yet there he was, maybe really the best pure receiver in America.

Shawne Alston to New Orleans a "Great Situation" - WVillustrated
WVU back waits out draft process, fields calls, finds fit. Now it's time to take advantage of the opportunity.

Jenkins to tryout for Seattle - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Despite not having his name announced during the NFL's three-day long draft, the 300-pound guard has been invited to Seattle for a tryout with the Seahawks.

Around the League (and Beyond):

BREAKING: PF Isaiah Austin returning for sophomore season? - Our Daily Bears

Welcome to Iowa State Abdel Nader - Wide Right & Natty Lite

Tanner Hawkinson Drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals - Rock Chalk Talk

Sams, Waters dazzle in spring game - Manhattan Mercury

ESPN's Trent Dilfer Voices His, Um, Displeasure With Oklahoma's Offense & Josh Heupel's Playcalling - Crimson And Cream Machine

Oklahoma State football announces future home-and-home series with Boise State - Oklahoman

Kenny Vaccaro drafted 15th by the New Orleans Saints - Burnt Orange Nation

Five questions for the 2013 football season at TCU - Dallas Morning News

Four Red Raiders sign free-agent contracts after NFL Draft - Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

What's On Tap:

A Rivalry Renewed - WVillustrated
The second installment of the Backyard Brawl is happening this week, and the Mountaineers look to have similar success as they did earlier this season.

Videos of Interest:

After falling out of the first round of the NFL Draft, Geno Smith went to the Jets with the 39th pick -- a curious decision given the five quarterbacks on the Jets' roster and their needs all over the offensive side of the ball. But fear not, Jets fans: Matt Ufford has three reasons why Geno's a good fit for Gang Green.

Comments from head coach Randy Mazey, after WVU swept Kansas in a three-game series in Beckley, W.Va.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is the fiance of the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun. CLICK HERE for today's gallery of Larisa Fraser.