The NFLPA launched an investigation on Roc Nation Sports wooing Geno by way of Jay-Z. Well, the Jets quarterback denied all allegations. "I don't have any concerns," Smith told the New York Daily News. "Jay-Z didn't recruit me." You gotta be kidding me, right? How do you explain this picture then? Just hangin’ out? We’re not buying it. If Jay-Z did play a part in Geno’s recruitment, it would violate the new “runner rule,” which prohibits non-NFLPA-certified agents swaying a players decision.
Rise and fall
What happened to Geno Smith? If you go back to January of 2012, the world was his oyster. He was coming off a record-setting performance in the Orange Bowl, a game in which his Mountaineers thrashed Clemson 70-33. Smith accounted for seven TDs (six passing, one rushing), 407 yards passing and was named the game's MVP. He also garnered All-Big East first-team honors. All signs pointed to Smith rising to even greater heights in 2012.
Starting out right
Smith opened his senior season with a bang, as he tossed four TD passes for 323 yards in a 69-34 West Virginia win over Marshall. In the process, he became the school's career leader in completions and touchdown passes. The Heisman hype was just starting to build.
What an explosion
The Heisman talk reached a fever pitch following an amazing performance in West Virginia's Big 12 debut against Baylor. Smith shredded the Bears with eight TD passes and compiled an unbelievable 656 yards passing. The Mountaineers held on for a 70-63 win and after beating Texas the following week, were flying high with a 5-0 record. At this point, the Heisman Trophy seemed like Smith's to lose.
Starts to crumble
Then, disaster struck. On a windy day in Lubbock, Smith's Mountaineers ran into a brick wall against Texas Tech. Smith seemed confused in the pocket against an attacking Red Raiders defense, completing 30 of 56 throws with one touchdown pass in an embarrassing 49-14 loss. That was Strike 1.
Ugly once again
Strike 2 came one week after the Texas Tech fiasco, this time at home against Kansas State. Smith threw his first two interceptions of the season and finished with just 143 yards passing in an ugly 55-14 defeat that had the fans at Milan-Puskar Stadium scrambling for the exits early. The humbled Mountaineers would go to lose another three games in a row. Suddenly, Smith's Heisman hopes had gone from reality to cruel bar-room joke.
Here's Strike 3
Smith's last game in a West Virginia uniform was another forgettable experience. Remember, the Mountaineers started the season 5-0. Now, they were stuck in the snow at Yankee Stadium, facing off against Ryan Nassib and Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl. Ouch. Did Smith make the most of it? Nope. He was sacked for a safety in the first half, then followed that with an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone that brought a second safety in the third quarter. The Mountaineers stumbled to a 38-14 loss and a 7-6 record to finish the season. Even more damning was West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen's comments after the game. "We did a poor job of continuing to play. A poor job of overcoming some things," Holgorsen said. While he doesn't mention Smith by name, it's definitely the QB's job to make sure the team keeps battling on the field.
Getting really rocky
With his college career behind him, Smith still had the opportunity to impress NFL scouts and coaches. He did have a solid pro day, completing 60 of 64 passes. However, he chose to skip the Senior Bowl (which, according to NFL.com was on the advice of his agents). What's worse, Smith was hit with a stinging review from Pro Football Weekly, which characterized him as a "gimmick, overhyped product" who lacks "football savvy, work habits and focus to cement a starting job and could drain energy from a QB room."
Here comes the boom
The coup de grace. Smith, who attended the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall, was expecting to be taken in the first round, possibly as high as the No. 1 selection. As each pick was announced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, it became clear Smith wasn't going in the first round. Smith took off after the night was over and vowed not to return for Day 2. He later changed his mind and was in the building when the Jets called his name in the second round. However, Smith wasn't done. A couple days later, he fired his agents. On May 2, reports surfaced that Smith had a bad attitude and spent a lot of time texting during his pre-draft visits with NFL teams.
Let’s go to work
From the moment Geno Smith strolled into Florham Park, the questions would surface. How much playing time will he get? Is he the future of the franchise? When will he start? All that aside, Smith has been entrenched in a quarterback competition with Mark Sanchez. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg has been very supportive of the rookie, but can he nab away the job from the fifth-year veteran.
As expected, Smith signed with rap mogul and agency owner Jay-Z. Roc Nation, which was founded earlier this year, has signed the likes of Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins.