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Monday, April 15, 2013
Geno Smith's bringing WR Bailey to draft

By David Ubben

The odds are good that next season will be Geno Smith's first since his sophomore year of high school -- a span of seven seasons -- that receiver Stedman Bailey won't be his teammate.

The duo goes all the way back to Miramar High School in Florida, when Smith talked Bailey into leaving his team and joining Smith's, but Smith is doing his part to extend that relationship as long as possible.

USA Today's Jim Corbett profiled the duo's relationship and reported that Smith accepted an invitation to attend the draft, but will be joined by his longtime friend and teammate in New York City.

From Corbett's story:
Smith could be chosen within the top nine picks. Bailey, at 5-10, 193 pounds, is projected to go in the first four rounds. He'll attend the first-round festivities in New York to share in his best friend's success.

"I want to be there to see Geno shake Roger Goodell's hand, be in his corner like I've always been," Bailey said. "I'm very blessed to have a friend in Geno who is like my brother. Our hard work over the years together got us to where we are."

You can't argue with Bailey's production, but his size is clearly one reason why his NFL stock doesn't match the 25 touchdowns he caught last season, more than any player in college football.

Cool move by both parties to be in the same place for Smith's big moment. The first round of the draft is April 25, and what was already a special night for Smith will be even more special with his best friend there to share in the happiness of a goal officially reached.

Teammate Tavon Austin, West Virginia's other likely first-round pick, will also be in the house to represent the Mountaineers. It's a safe bet coach Dana Holgorsen will be making an appearance as well.

Last season wasn't the fitting followup to a Big East championship and BCS bowl title the program reached in 2011, but there will be plenty of time for West Virginia to grab plenty of attention from prospects on draft night.