WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

Finally, the answer to all your Cooper Rego questions…

West Virginia fans might remember Cooper Rego as the touted tailback who originally enrolled at Notre Dame but was dismissed after getting in some trouble he denied ever happened.

(Vague, yes, but this isn’t the place to rehash all those stories. He was a pleasant person while at WVU from 1999-2001).

Well, he never turned the potential into a football career, but nevertheless did find himself under the lights. Rego is a standup comedian. Serious. He performs in the New York area and on East Coast college campuses and appears to have a nice little thing going.

But what about that TV?

Cornerback Ellis Lankster and linebacker J.T. Thomas were reinstated by West Virginia Coach Rich Rodriguez Thursday and will be available when the Mountaineers play host to East Carolina tomorrow. It should eventually be a nice boost to a developing defense.  

A few questions have already popped up and a few more need to rise to the surface, so here are some things that have come to the minds of many since learning the nation’s No. 5-ranked team welcomes the services of two projected starters.

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One for the thumb?

Chris Henry, as you might have noticed, has a way of finding trouble. It’s something the former West Virginia receiver has surely been thinking about as he serves the eight-game suspension mandated by the NFL this summer. Four arrests in 14 months will have that effect on any commissioner.

Well, now it seems as if trouble might have returned the favor.

An officer spotted a car he did not recognize parked in the Cincinnati Bengal’s driveway, ran the license plates and discovered the car had been reported stolen by a rental-car company.

Henry told investigators that his own vehicle had been stolen in Louisiana, where he is from originally, and he rented a car from Hertz.

Proof that Henry’s reputation precedes him, police officers happen to pass his house often enough to recognize which cars are and are not his … then feel compelled to run the plates of the unfamiliar cars. Seems unfair since Henry has been a good neighbor.

This could be a misunderstanding and authorities probably won’t throw the book at Henry, which is probably for the best because he would likely catch it, spike it and then cross his arms and stare.

Attorney Alex Shook, who is representing West Virginia linebacker J.T. Thomas III, said this morning he does not expect that a preliminary hearing will be rescheduled in Monongalia County Magistrate Court.

Thomas and cornerback Ellis Lankster face felony charges of receiving and transferring stolen goods.

“I’ve been in constant communication with the prosecutor’s office trying to bring about a quick resolution that is in everyone’s best interests,” Shook said.

Shook said he’d been working with Monongalia County Prosecuting Attorney Marcia Ashdown late last week and earlier this week on an agreement. He’d declined to offer specifics.

“Marsha Ashdown is an experienced prosecutor who has handled hundreds, if not thousands of cases involving university students,” Shook said. “I’d expect a similar outcome based on precedents in the past.”

Shook, from Moundsville, played fullback and tight end at WVU and lettered from 1988-91.

He rushed for 129 yards, averaged 4.4 yards per carry and scored one touchdown on the ground his first three seasons, then moved to tight end and caught 23 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns as a senior. Shook was also a member of the College Football Association’s Scholar-Athlete Team in 1991.

Lankster, Thomas mystery evolves

The mystery that surrounds the cases against Ellis Lankster and J.T. Thomas III continues to evolve.

A preliminary hearing was delayed last week and has not been rescheduled in Monongalia County Magistrate Court. Magistrate Jim Nabors, who was scheduled to see Lankster and Thomas Sept. 10, is working nights this week and has no hearings scheduled. He returns to the office next week, when he’ll set a date for Lankster and Thomas.

Unless, of course, recent rumblings are true, which is where this story takes another turn.

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