In the most recent ESPN the Magazine, West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith was interviewed by writer Zach Schonbrun. In that article, Schonbrun acknowledges that Smith is an early Heisman Trophy candidate. After coming off a season where he threw for 4,385 yards (fourth in FBS) and 31 touchdowns (tied the school record for passing TDs in a season), expectations are high for Smith.
That burden will grow heavier this season, though, as No. 9 WVU shifts from the Big East to the stacked Big 12, which includes five other teams ranked in ESPN's preseason top 25.
Smith has added about 15 pounds of muscle to his frame and has worked on strengthening his plant leg in order to improve his accuracy. This is from someone who completed 65.8 percent of his passes and threw only seven interceptions all of last year.
West Virginia's first game of the 2012 regular season will be Sept. 1 against the Marshall Thundering Herd with kickoff scheduled for noon.