Sports in The Dominion Post

This article appeared in the Dominion Post Newspaper on January 24, 2003.
Rodamer to run with Herd

Star MHS back jilts Syracuse

Jason DeProspero/The Dominion Post

Retired MHS coach Glen McNew and his star back, Geremy Rodamer.


The Dominion Post

Surprises and Geremy Rodamer apparently go hand-in-hand.

In the middle of his senior season, a year in which Rodamer led the Morgantown High Mohigans to a Class AAA state title, hometown WVU football coach Rich Rodriguez withdrew his scholarship offer.


Playing with a severely bruised shoulder, among other injuries, Rodamer rushed for 159 yards in a second-round playoff victory, over rival University High. The output was sure to earn Rodamer the Kennedy Award -- it didn't.


But like any good poker player, Rodamer had a surprise of his own, one he pulled off Thursday afternoon, fooling most everyone when he announced he'd be wearing green and white during his collegiate career.

"I'm happy to announce that I will be attending Marshall University," Rodamer said.

And with that, Rodamer smiled, probably knowing his bombshell of a surprise gave him the last laugh.

"All of my family and close friends -- when I told them my decision (Wednesday) night -- they were all pretty shocked," Rodamer said.

Certainly Syracuse University, whose defensive coach, Steve Dunlap, had spent countless hours trying to recruit him and which was considered the front-runner for his services, was surprised.

"Everyone was shocked," Rodamer continued. "They all thought I was going to go to Syracuse."

Rodamer's decision even caught him a little off guard. Had he made his decision a month ago, Rodamer admitted, he probably wouldn't be spending his next four or five years with the Thundering Herd.

"When I took my visit to Syracuse, I really had a gut feeling that was where I was going to go," Rodamer said.

That was until Rodamer took his final recruiting visit, a trip to Huntington two weeks ago.

"I really loved the people down there," Rodamer said. "I thought it was a great campus and the people were really nice. I felt more comfortable there than I did anywhere else, that was important to me.

"I felt comfortable around the other recruits they have coming in that I met. Coach (Bob) Pruett reminds me a lot of (MHS coach) Glen McNew, and that was important to me."

In short, it was a decision not based on playing time right away, although Rodamer said you could expect to see him returning punts and kickoffs for the Thundering Herd next season.

It wasn't a decision based on where he could get on TV the most or which school was in the better conference.

"The Mid-American Conference doesn't get a lot of respect in football," Rodamer said. "People will say there aren't too many good teams in the conference and things like that. Honestly, that's the way I used to think about it."

He wanted to be home, and since he couldn't do that because West Virginia had withdrawn its scholarship offer to him, he wanted to be at a home away from home.

"A lot of people have told me that, by going to Marshall, it's like I was trying to get back at WVU," Rodamer said. "That had nothing to do with it. I felt like Marshall was the best place for me."

Rodamer becomes the second consecutive Kennedy Award runner-up to attend Marshall. Last year, former Wyoming East tailback James "Tank" Tunstalle passed on WVU for Marshall. The Thundering Herd have won the MAC title five times since joining the league, six years ago, and have appeared in six consecutive bowl games.

"I'm definitely ready to play for championships," Rodamer said. "Marshall really has a lot to offer. Their program is definitely on the rise and they play some good competition. They played Virginia Tech this past year and I know they have Tennessee, Ohio State and Miami on future schedules.

"It's an exciting time to be down there and I'm glad I can be a part of it."