WVU football: 5 Mountaineers who you’d want to be quarantined with

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PISCATAWAY, NJ – OCTOBER 27: Fullback Owen Schmitt #35 of the West Virginia Mountaineers celebrates after defeating the Rutgers University Scarlet Knights on October 27, 2007 at Rutgers Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

5. Owen Schmitt, Fullback (2004-07)

Owen Schmitt is the prototypical West Virginia story. A hard-working, pull-yourself-up-by-your-boot-straps type of football player. He walked-on at WVU after playing one season at Division-III Wisconsin-River Falls. Shortly thereafter, Schmitt was part of the most lethal backfield in college football, flanked by quarterback Pat White and running back Steve Slaton.

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He exemplified all those tools and life lessons football can teach a person, too. The hard work was obvious, but he also believed in his teammates and persevered through injuries — even if they were self-inflicted (remember when he bashed his own helmet off his forehead before a game?).

The highlight of Schmitt’s career, to me, would be his Fiesta Bowl performance and interview. He rushed for just 64 yards on three carries, but added a momentum-shifting touchdown that stretched 57 yards for the game’s first touchdown; Oklahoma didn’t stand a chance. In his post-game interview, Schmitt let it be known that the team saw nearly everyone picking against the Mountaineers, too, in favor of the Sooners. He even spoke about a poll he’d seen earlier about the matchup.

“The whole U.S. was covered in red, and the only state — the greatest state in the nation — was covered in blue and that was West Virginia and that’s why we won this game.” Schmitt continued, “Overcame adversity, came together as a team, and that’s why we won.”

That sort of passion yet level-headedness would make Schmitt an excellent quarantine buddy. And he spoke rather candidly in many of his interviews, but I bet there are some excellent unheard stories in his vault.

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