“He was always excited about what he achieved,” Sellers said of her son, West Virginia’s standout senior quarterback. “Someone acknowledged you, it’s not like he was looking for these awards. These are things that you’ve earned. I don’t think that he gives himself enough credit for how other people see him, how successful he has been in his young career. But I do know that he’s not a person who lives to please others.”
Her cellphone has rung non-stop. Everyone wants to hear from the woman who raised Geno Smith. Sellers is a small-business owner and runs a nonprofit organization called Parents Without Partners Life Center. “This is becoming . . .” her voice softening with disbelief from the parking lot outside work. “I’m just a regular mom with four kids. Three other children besides Geno.”
Besides Geno. A big besides. He’s the Heisman Trophy favorite, the pilot of West Virginia’s “Air Raid” offense, the kid who eschewed an interest in art for Morgantown and football. Smith has almost as many touchdown passes (20) as incompletions (25) through four games this season. In Saturday’s 70-63 win over Baylor he threw for 656 yards, the fourth-highest single-game total in Football Bowl Subdivision history, and eight touchdowns.
At Miramar High School in Sunrise, Fla., Smith cleaned streets with teammates and read to hospital patients, then torched the state’s top defenses. He was disciplined by Coach Damon Cogdell just once when he arrived to practice just minutes late after waiting on a ride. Cogdell benched him for the first half of Miramar’s next game. On Smith’s first play, he found current West Virginia teammate Stedman Bailey on a seam route. Touchdown, 70 yards.
“He’s just very professional,” Cogdell said. “Never talks back. Yes sir, no sir. Humble kid, probably sounds like a recorder, but he is. I always envisioned him being at this point, finally made it.”