PARKERSBURG -West Virginia University sports announcer Tony Caridi -whose signature line is "no matter where you are, it's great day to be a Mountaineer'' -made it a great day to be a Mountaineer in Parkersburg on Monday when he served as the guest speaker at the Parkersburg Rotary Club.
Caridi spoke on a wide variety of subjects, naturally concentrating on WVU football.
A constant observer of Mountaineer sports who has been at WVU since 1984, Caridi was impressed with the transition made by the football staff during spring drills.
West Virginia University sports announcer Tony Caridi served as the guest speaker at the Parkersburg Rotary Club.
"It was a challenging coaching situation,'' he said.
"It was unique in that you had an entirely new offensive staff. The transition was huge and it went about as well as can be expected.''
Caridi is excited by the new offense being installed by offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who will become WVU's head coach following the 2011 season.
- ?West Virginia University sports announcer Tony Caridi served as the guest speaker at the Parkersburg Rotary Club.
- ?He spoke on a variety of subjects, but concentrated on WVU football.
- ?Part of his talk was devoted to the local members of the Mountaineers:?Matt Lindamood, Josh Jenkins and Cody Nutter.
"It's the same offense he installed at Houston and Oklahoma State,'' Caridi said. "Houston put up record numbers and Oklahoma State's offense saw huge improvement.''
Caridi likes what Holgorsen is trying to do and believes it is a perfect fit for Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith.
"It requires a quarterback who is accurate, tough and doesn't have happy feet,'' Caridi said.
"The last thing you want to see in that offense is the quarterback run the ball.''
Caridi explained the offense is based on a fast tempo designed to wear down the opposing defense as the game progresses. It calls for no substitutions so the defense can't substitute.
Caridi believes Smith could be special in this system.
"He could leave WVU as the all-time leading passer in WVU history,'' Caridi said.
Being in Parkersburg, Caridi naturally talked about the local members of the Mountaineers.
"Matt Lindamood had a great spring,'' said Caridi of the former Parkersburg High School all-state running back who walked on at WVU and is now on scholarship. Caridi said Holgorsen told him he had a fullback at Oklahoma State that made all-Big 12 "who isn't half the football player Matt Lindamood is.'' Caridi said to look for Lindamood to be the lead blocker out of the backfield and also to have some passes thrown his way.
Caridi couldn't shed any additional light on the situation regarding offensive lineman Josh Jenkins, a three-time all-state selection at PHS who has been a two-year starter at WVU. "It's going to be 6-to-8 weeks before they know if JJ's knee injury heals,'' Caridi said. "If he needs surgery, he will be out for the season.''
As for longsnapper Cody Nutter, an all-state selection at Parkersburg South, Caridi said if you never hear about the longsnapper he is doing a great job.
The only time you notice the longsnapper is when something goes wrong. Since Nutter has been filling that role, nothing has gone wrong.
Caridi's one note of caution regarding Mountaineer football was the kicking game, which he described as "an adventure'' last season.
Caridi noted that five of the first six football games are in Morgantown, where Bill Stewart has compiled a record of 19-2. The only road game the first half of the season is a short trip to Maryland.
Caridi spoke on a wide range of WVU issues which will be the subject of future stories and sports columns.