Smith and Bailey's Relationship Remains Strong - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Smith and Bailey's Relationship Remains Strong


Stedman Bailey is in the middle of answering a question during his post-practice interview, and his quarterback, Geno Smith, walks into the room and shouts his name with a big smile on his face.

It's like there are no cameras, no recorders, and no reporters in the room with them. Smith and Bailey just look like two good friends that are having a good time after another spring practice.

And of course, that's exactly what it is. Much has been made of the relationship between the quarterback and receiver ever since they arrived in Morgantown from Miramar High School, where they were also teammates.

As it turns out, combining for 12 touchdowns and winning a BCS bowl together doesn't exactly hurt a friendship. In fact, it only makes it stronger.

"I don't think me and Geno could get any closer," said Bailey. "We've been friends for so long, and he's pretty much my best friend."

"That's my brother, man," Smith said of Bailey, "anybody knows that. Me, Stedman, Terrence Gourdine, we're brothers. Our families hang out, we hang out, so is just like family."

It hasn't been a secret that these two are about as close as anyone on the team. How well that can translate to the way these two play on the field, though, became truly evident last season.

Bailey's freshman season, 2010, served as a preview of what was to come in 2011. While putting up just a fraction of the yards he earned last season, Bailey did provide a few highlight-reel catches, and found his way to the end zone on occasion.

Last season, just about everything measurable in his game multiplied. There were numerous acrobatic catches, almost quadruple the yardage, and 12 touchdowns, compared to the four he had scored in the year prior.

Now, as the 2012 spring practice season winds down, expectations for not only these two, but the entire WVU offense are as high as they've been in years.

"We expect big things out of ourselves this year," said Bailey. "We were able to do a lot of great things last year, but each year we just want to look to get better. Everything we were able to do last year, we just want to be able to do a little bit more."

For Smith and Bailey, a lot of the success comes from simply being comfortable with each other. Playing together for such a long period of time can pay obvious dividends.

"The trust level between me and Geno is very high," said Bailey. "He trusts me in a lot of situations and I trust him, as well. We're best friends off the field, and sometimes we sit and talk about different situations that may come up again, just different things that we may see out on the field and just try and work at it."

In fact, Smith said that Bailey has become so comfortable, that he sometimes tries to help Smith in reading the field and playing the quarterback position.

"We have this thing on the field where Stedman, I remember about my sophomore year in high school," Smith said, "we sat down and I taught him how to read the field like a quarterback. Now he's out there and he thinks he's a quarterback and he's telling me what's going on, and he helps me out on the field."

Combining the talent of Bailey with a quickly rising star like Smith could create nightmares for defenses in the Big XII, which already have enough explosive offenses to deal with.

"Geno's a great quarterback," Bailey said." He's got great poise, great leadership. He can hit you a lot of different ways, first and foremost with his arm, but Geno's just a great, complete quarterback."

It's not as though Bailey will serve as Smith's only weapon, either. Tavon Austin is one of the most dynamic players in the country and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. There are arguably three running backs that could make a case for being a starter heading into the season. One of them, Dustin Garrison, showed his potential by running for 291 yards against Bowling Green.

Those players have a good relationship with their quarterback, too, and they will all be part of an offense that hopes to be even more explosive than it was last season. Yet, there's something special between Smith and Bailey- on and off the field.

In a few months, West Virginia will start one of the toughest schedules it's seen in a long time, and Smith and Bailey will be looked upon as leaders of this offense. But for now, it's a few more spring practices, and countless more smiles among best friends.

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