There’s been a lot of talk lately about the WVU football team’s recent venture into recruiting transfers and getting them to plug holes across the roster.
Under head coach Dana Holgorsen, the Mountaineers have made a living transfer, from junior college, to traditional, to graduates. Look no further than this season’s roster and you’ll see transfers sprinkled all across the team — offense, defense and special teams.
Quarterback Will Grier (transferred from Florida) is considered one of the best QBs in the country. He’ll look to find T.J. Simmons (Alabama) and Jovani Haskins (Miami) in the passing game.
Once Grier is gone after this season, there’s a chance Jack Allison (Miami) could be the next in line to start at quarterback.
On defense, Denzel Fisher (UCLA), Keith Washington (Michigan) and Josh Norwood (Ohio State) will get snaps in the secondary. Along the defensive line, Kenny Bigelow (USC) and Jabril Robinson (Clemson) should see significant playing time.
Bigelow, a former 5-star nose tackle from Elkton, Md., arrived on campus Monday and will begin taking summer classes
Those are a lot of names from a lot of big-time schools, but the amount of transfers have rubbed some of the wrong way, as if it’s a cop-out for not being able to recruit depth out of high school — a quick fix and plugging a leak with a finger.
The Mountaineers scholarship numbers are down compared to recent seasons, and several key players left the program to transfer somewhere else, including defensive linemen Adam Shuler and Lamonte McDougle, as well as wide receiver Reggie Roberson.
Perhaps the biggest criticism toward Holgorsen is that he has yet to recruit a quarterback out of high school that has seen any real success. The only prep recruit to start at QB under Holgorsen was Ford Childress, and he started all of two games in 2013 — a win against Georgia State and blowout loss to Maryland — before being replaced by Clint Trickett and ultimately leaving for Fresno State.
Paul Millard, who played in 18 games in his career, committed to WVU while Holgorsen was still an offensive coordinator under Bill Stewart so I won’t add him to this category.
And that brings us to Trickett, who played well in his two seasons in Morgantown, but he was brought aboard as a grad transfer from Florida State. After Trickett was injured toward the end of his senior year, he was replaced by Skyler Howard, a JUCO product who started 28 games in his career when it was all said and done.
There are countless transfers who have had success under Holgorsen at WVU, which begs the question — who cares whether or not the coaching staff recruited a player out of high school?
If someone can help a team win games — which Holgorsen has done — it shouldn’t matter why or how that player got to WVU.
No one’s feelings are hurt, and it’s not an issue of loyalty to your current roster. Coaches want to win games, and if that takes bringing in talent from other places, then so be it.
In a perfect world, all high school recruits would pan out and never leave. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world and it’s far from it in college football.