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Mountaineer Morning Links: Thursday (8/22/13) Edition

All football recruits have qualified, player features, pro updates from WVU Pros, Big 12 roundup & more

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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 Cerveja Polar, in honor of today's Miss Throwdown.

What You May Have Missed:

Gold and Blue Now: Thursday, Aug. 22 - WV MetroNews
Jed Drenning, from expects to see a lot of the “pistol” formation from Dana Holgorsen’s offense. Keith Patterson says although school is in this week, he is treating this as an extension of fall camp and Matt Tait of the Lawerence Journal-World says that Kansas has more depth this year than in years past.

Women's Soccer Preseason Ranked No. 19 - WVU Athletics
The Mountaineers, the defending Big 12 Conference regular-season champions, are the highest-ranked league team in today’s poll. Baylor, the conference’s defending tournament champion, is No. 22.

Silva Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate - WVU Athletics
The award recognizes student-athletes that have excelled in four areas - classroom, character, community and competition. The Overland Park, Kan., native is the first WVU women's soccer candidate.

VIDEO INTERVIEW: WVU Women's Soccer's Frances SIlva - WVillustrated
WVU Women's Soccer standout, Frances Silva, talks to the media about the 2013 Mountaineer Women's Soccer season.

Varsity Sports Flex Plan Released - WVU Athletics
The Varsity Sports Flex Plan package gets you 10 tickets for just $20, making it a great bargain for families who plan on attending WVU varsity sporting events. The 10 general admission tickets are valid for any of these WVU sporting events: baseball, gymnastics, men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball and wrestling.

Furfari: Woodside best, most honored place-kicker - Register-Herald
Paul Woodside was the greatest place-kicker — and most honored — in West Virginia University’s 120-year football history.

News of Note:

Holgorsen’s history a good omen for WVU - Daily Athenaeum
Through the offseason into fall camp, the biggest question concerning the West Virginia football program is how will it replace former stars Geno Smith, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

White standing out among deep WR corps - Charleston Gazette
"We have depth in terms of just bodies,'' Dawson said. "And they're capable bodies that look the part and run the part and all that. But adding the pressure of making plays is a whole different deal. And we don't know who that's going to be.''

Plethora of halfbacks at WVU - Parkersburg News and Sentinel
Moutaineers have experienced backs

Sims Named to Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List - WVillustrated
West Virginia senior running back Charles Sims was named to the first annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Watch List by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce.

Cook Confident of Improved Defense - WVU Athletics
Senior says D will be improved in 2013.

Playmaker becoming a leader - Charleston Daily Mail
Less than a year ago, Darwin Cook was not the type of player West Virginia coaches would recommend as a role model for a younger player. Cook would admit as much.

Safeties Darwin Cook and Karl Joseph will lean on experience to handle adversity in 2013 - Daily Athenaeum
As odd as it may be to think about considering last year’s results, West Virginia’s defense, particularly its secondary, may be one of the strongest position groups heading into the 2012 season.

Lofty expectations for Clarke, defensive line - Daily Athenaeum
West Virginia is returning five defensive linemen who saw action in 2012 in Eric Kinsey, Christian Brown, Will Clarke, Shaq Rowell and Rose.

Bruce leads linebackers as 2013 season draws near - Daily Athenaeum
Despite the disappointing 2012 football season for the Mountaineers, the underclassmen showed promise for a bright future.

Big 12′s best: Nos. 25 through 21 - WV MetroNews
Allan Taylor's list is constructed on subjectivity, ripe for debate and sure to inspire some squawking.


Four-star recruit is cleared to play - Charleston Daily Mail
Darrien Howard, a four-star defensive recruit from Dayton, Ohio, was cleared by the NCAA Eligibility Center Wednesday

Howard relieved, ready -
After missing the entire fall camp while going through the NCAA Clearinghouse procedure, the 6-foot-2, 255-pounder finally got the news he was waiting for Thursday when he was fully cleared to begin his college career in Morgantown.

Linebacker Howard cleared by NCAA - WV MetroNews
His admittance means WVU successfully brought in 100 percent of its February signing class.

All expected WVU football recruits in - Times West Virginian
Basketball coach Bob Huggins, however, has two recruits who are not included in the student directory. It doesn’t mean they won’t be by Friday, which is the final day they can enroll, so they still may be awaiting clearance.

Pro News:

Geno Smith has Baylor-esque practice for the Jets on Wednesday - ProsReport
In Jets' practice on Wednesday, Smith was revitalized and showed flashes of what he did against Baylor last season when he went 45-of-51 for 656 yards and eight touchdowns.

Bruce Irvin returns to practice for the Seahawks and other NFL notes - ProsReport
Here is what we're hearing.

Chris Neild Eyes Big Role for Redskins After Injury - WVillustrated
Former WVU defensive lineman pushes for significant playing time in third year with Washington.

Around the League (and Beyond):

The Future’s So Briles, I Gotta Wear Shades - Our Daily Bears

Irving, ISU defensive line ready to emerge - The Gazette

Kansas Football 2013 Positional Previews: Flanker - Rock Chalk Talk

Kansas State offensive line no longer an unknown - Kansas City Star

Mailbag: The Ramifications Of Naming A Freshman As Starter - Crimson And Cream Machine

College football countdown | No. 15: Oklahoma - USA Today

Will J.W. Walsh see time at quarterback? - Oklahoman (autoplay)

Texas Longhorns ranked in top 20 simply because of reputation - Dallas Morning News

TCU football notes: Gary Patterson takes on game-week mentality - Dallas-Fort Worth Star Telegram

Texas Tech football notes for Aug. 21 - Lubbock Avalanche Journal

College Football Mailbag - Stewart Mandel -

What's On Tap:

WVU to Host Mountain Strong Volleyball 101 - WVU Athletics
The West Virginia University volleyball team and coaching staff will be offering a free informational session at 5:30 p.m., on Friday, Aug. 23, at the WVU Coliseum.

Video of Interest:

WVU returns to the pitch on August 30, 2013 when the Mountaineers take on Central Connecticut. Kickoff is set for 7:30PM.

Video of (Dis)Interest:

Miss Throwdown:

Today's Miss Throwdown is...wait for it...ANOTHER Brazilian bombshell (I know how you hate those). CLICK HERE for today's gallery and HERE for a BONUS GALLERY and VIDEO of Veronica Assis.

More from The Smoking Musket: