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Don’t look now, but the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets are starting to turn things around. An also-ran in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Conference the last few seasons, head coach Earl Monroe’s squad, which faces Central State in the C

Don’t look now, but the West Virginia State Yellow Jackets are starting to turn things around.

An also-ran in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Conference the last few seasons, head coach Earl Monroe’s squad, which faces Central State in the Chicago Football Classic Sept. 6 at Soldier Field, has made a resurgence.

“We’re starting to turn things around,” Monroe said. “It’s been a long process, but we’re coming back.”

The key to West Virginia State’s resurgence has been the play of junior quarterback Kevin O’ Brien.

In two seasons, the 6-4, 230-pound signal caller has thrown for 4,142 yards and 29 touchdowns.

“I’d have to say that Kevin has been everything we’d hope for and more,” Monroe said.

An outstanding high school quarterback in Florida, O’Brien chose West Virginia State over such Div. I programs such as Temple and Florida Atlantic.

West Virginia State offensive coordinator Kip Shaw coached NFL quarterback Chad Pennington at Marshall University.

Shaw said O’Brien can be just as good or better than Pennington.

“Kevin is more physically gifted than Chad,” Shaw told the Charleston Daily Mail. “It was the mental game where Chad was and is so good. That’s what Kevin needs to work on.”

Ticket sales for the Classic are going well at West Virginia State.

“Our fans are looking forward to coming to Chicago,” said Monroe. “Getting a chance to see our team play in a historic place like Soldier Field is a once in a lifetime experience.”

At Central State, the search for a new athletic director continues. Among the candidates for the post is NFL Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow. Winslow is one of three finalists for the job.

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