WVU Coaches Deal With Transfer Rule

PARKERSBURG — Coaches talk a lot. It’s part of the job.

College coaches are especially put in front of the microphone more than they would like and often forced to talk about subjects that they would much rather stay silent over.

That wasn’t the case last week at J.P. Henry’s Restaurant as West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen, Bob Huggins and Mike Carey joined Director of Athletics Shane Lyons at the Mountaineer Athletic Club’s Coaches Caravan.

“There’s no new rules and, quite honestly, I am a little tired of talking about it,” Holgorsen said when asked about the Big 12 Conference’s attempt at dealing with a new transfer rule. “We’ve had a lot of good success with junior college transfer which I support 100 percent. Plus, there are a lot of good graduate transfers out there which I support 100 percent.

“With all the guys that we have come in — like a Will Grier — you transfer for a specific reason those guys need to sit a year and then hopefully everything works out after that.”

Grier, who signed with the University of Florida upon his graduation from Davidson Day School in Davidson, N.C., elected to leave the Gators following a redshirt freshman campaign which the 6-foot-2 signal-caller saw action in six games — starting five.

Events off the field, however, convinced Grier to leave Gainesville and come to Morgantown where he sat out a redshirt sophomore season, earning Offensive Scout Team Champion the week of the Mountaineers’ game against Youngstown State.

That patience paid off when Grier took the field wearing the Old Gold and Blue when WVU took on longtime nemesis Virginia Tech to open the 2017 season.

A hand injury early in a 28-14 loss to Texas ended his season early, but not before Grier completed 250 passes for 3,490 yards and 34 touchdowns — earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year laurels along the way.

Three more transfers — quarterback Jack Allison (University of Miami), J.T. Simmons (Alabama) and Jevoni Haskins (Miami) — will be counted on to make an impact upon the Mountaineer program this upcoming season.

Of course, not everything has been rosey on the transfer front as WVU have already lost six members of its Class of 2017.

Wide receiver Reggie Roberson is the latest to elect to leave the program. Fullback Maverick Wolfley, cornerback Fontez Davis, quarterback David Isreal and defensive linemen Jalen Harvey and Lamont McDougle will not be on the roster when players report for summer camp.

That’s bad enough, but add those defections to cornerbacks Jacquez and Jordan Adams, quarterback Chris Chugunov, defensive lineman Jaleel Fields, center Ray Raulerson, offensive guard Alec Shriner, defensive end Adam Shuler, cornerback Kevin Williams and kicker Jonn Young and it’s easy to understand why WVU’s veteran head coach gets a little irked over being asked repeatedly about transfers.

“It is part of coaching,” Huggins said. “Kids want to go to where they have the best chance of playing immediately. You can’t take it personally. Our program has benefited from transfers and been hurt by them.

“In the long run you want the kids in your program who want to be there.”