Football in the Big East Conference was good for a weekly Childhood Friends or High School Teammates or Prep Playoff Rivals story. With so many of the Big East’s players growing up in the Northeast and heading to colleges in the Northeast’s league, it was not uncommon to see those kids going up against one another in college.
WVU’s Terence Garvin and Syracuse’s Alec Lemon are a prime example of that and they’ve had fun with it this week.
Things are very much the same in the Big 12 Conference, and it actually seems the familiarity is far, far more widespread because so many players come from Texas and one of its roughly 900,000 high schools — give or take.
WVU has been mostly immune to it, though, because the Mountaineers haven’t unfurled their net over the Southwest just yet. There are some players from that area and the Jordan Thompsons on the roster know people at Texas, but it’s not like all the South Florida kids at WVU and USF and Pitt and, well, Syracuse.
That leads us to the best story of the week …
The Orange have 12 players from Florida on the roster — one fewer than the number of players from Pennsylvania. A handful are even from Miami, two hail from Miramar and one of those two went to Miramar High.
WVU has 23 players from Florida, an even larger handful from Miami and four who went to Miramar High. So we have a nice little story there because Syracuse’s very good Keon Lyn is a cornerback who will oppose his expatriate Patriots on the WVU roster, quarterback Geno Smith and receiver Stedman Bailey.
Lyn, who was recruited to WVU shortly before signing day by Doc Holliday, remembers the good old days and was happy to share them with us.
“It was great,” he said. “Back in high school, I played safety and didn’t convert to corner until my senior year, when I actually played. I didn’t play until my senior year, but it was great. When I was a safety, it was really me and Geno going against each other.”
Lyn, a junior who became a starter in the midst of the 2011 season and has 44 tackles and three interceptions this season, was a star on the 2009 Miramar team that won the state title.
The Patriots were 14-1 and Lyn was a big reason why. According to the Syracuse media guide, as a captain for the second season in a row, Lyn made 119 tackles and had five interceptions, one that he returned for a touchdown, and made the Broward County all-star team. Not a small deal down there.
Lyn said he was looking forward to going up against Bailey once more in what’s Bailey’s final college game.
“Stedman’s been a great receiver for a long time coming,” Lyn said. “It’s all about putting extra work in and he’s done it. He’s got a great quarterback around him and great players all around him. I’m happy for him. It’s a great opportunity to go up against him, a great matchup.”
This is all very normal, tame stuff, right? How on Earth is it my favorite story of the week?
Geno Smith doesn’t know who Keon Lyn is.
“He wasn’t there when I was there,” Smith said, in an empty and confused tone that made everyone’s eyes widen. “He played one year.”
Oh, well, this is awkward. Because, you know, Lyn made it sound like you were close.
“No,” Smith said. “He would like to be my friend. He can’t be my friend.”