WVU quartet welcoming 'home' bowl game
MIAMI — West Virginia sophomore wide receiver Stedman Bailey used to walk past Sun Life Stadium each day while he was growing up.
As a star high school football player at Miramar High School in Miami, Bailey had always dreamed of playing there.
"For me to be able to play on this field on this stage, it's an amazing feeling," Bailey said.
The Mountaineers have four players from Miramar High School: Bailey, wide receiver Ivan McCartney, quarterback Geno Smith and nose tackle Josh Taylor. The school is about four miles from Sun Life Field in Miami.
Bailey, McCartney and Smith are three of the Mountaineers' best offensive options. The trio has combined to score 40 touchdowns and rack up 5,688 yards this season.
"They were always special kids when they were with me. I knew they were going to do something special,"Miramar High School football coach Damon Cogdell said. "You could always see the athleticism with those kids, and not only that but they worked hard and lived a great lifestyle."
Cogdell is a former WVU linebacker who lettered in 1997-98 for the Mountaineers. He finished his career with 105 tackles.
"A lot of college coaches tease me that they're never going to get a Miramar kid, because they're going to West Virginia," Cogdell said. "But, if that particular kid fits a particular role, that's where he should go."
Bailey said Cogdell is giving high school players an opportunity to continue their careers at the highest level and earn a college degree.
"He's been building that program up. A lot of kids have seen what Cogdell has been doing and that he has success with players going to college," Bailey said. "I know a lot of kids want to be a part of something like that. It's only getting better."
The pipeline isn't closing yet, either. Former Morgan State linebacker and Miramar state champion Dominick Bryan transferred to WVU last year.
In addition, Cogdell said former Miramar receiver and Eastern Michigan receiver Terrance Gourdine will enroll at WVU later this month.
"It means a lot to the community and to the program as a whole that these former players are succeeding," Cogdell said.
Cogdell was at WVU's practice Sunday to watch his former players prepare for Wednesday's Orange Bowl vs. Clemson.
The four former Miramar stars will have an opportunity to shine Wednesday in front of a national TV audience — and local fans.
"This is more for my family members and the guys that can't come up and see me play," Smith said. "Now, we have a chance to go home. It's going to be pretty special."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers’ Pouncey investigated in alleged assault
- McCutchen homers twice in Pirates’ extra-inning win
- Plum, Burrell soccer players get kicks across pond
- Despite challenges, ride-sharing operations flourish
- Senate leader Reid steers push to turn Nevada into renewable energy mecca
- LaBar: Kurt Angle preparing for WWE return
- Pirates’ McCutchen might be National League’s most cost-effective star
- Alle-Kiski collegiate baseball players find many summer league options
- Freeport Area School District envisions new middle school as ‘asset to community’
- Pirates notebook: Similarity found in Alvarez throwing errors
- As suicides spike, new Pa. law to start prevention efforts in 6th grade