Morgantown, West Virginia – The transfer portal has made it very easy for collegiate athletes to leave a program if things aren’t going well for them. There are various reasons why a player may enter the portal; perhaps they aren’t getting the playing time they feel they deserve; maybe they aren’t happy with the coaches; sometimes they just simply miss home and want to move back closer to family.
While football programs throughout the nation have felt the impact of the transfer portal, West Virginia University has been absolutely rocked, pummeled by the portal.
Not only does West Virginia lead all of college football in transfers since January 1, 2020, they lead by a wide margin.
Despite the narrative that all of the players that have left were disgruntled due to a lack of playing time, several starters and key contributors have actually left the team. The idea that the players that left the team were untalented or unable to contribute on the field is simply untrue.
Twenty-six players have left West Virginia University this year. TWENTY-SIX. No other school in America has even close to that amount. 26.
For a team to have so many transfers without it being during a coaching change is astonishing and unheard of. This is either an extraordinary coincidence, or there’s a major issue with the culture of the West Virginia football program.
Here is the comprehensive list of every player on the West Virginia football roster that has left the team since January 1, 2020:
1/3/21 – Lorenzo Door, Running Back
1/5/21 – Austin Kendall, Quarterback
1/8/21 – Charlie Benton, Linebacker
1/19/21 – Bryce Brand, Defensive Lineman
1/21/21 – Ali Jennings, Wide Receiver
2/2/21 – Briason Mays, Offensive Lineman
2/2/21 – Blaine Scott, Offensive Lineman
2/8/21 – Alec Sinkfield, Running Back
3/25/21 – Tykee Smith, Safety
3/29/21 – Dreshun Miller, Cornerback
4/29/21 – Jeffery Pooler, Defensive Lineman
4/30/21 – Randy Fields, Wide Receiver
5/10/21 – Jayvon Thrift, Safety
5/11/21 – Jacob Long, Cornerback
6/10/21 – Tariq Stewart, Offensive Lineman
6/28/21 – David Vincent-Okoli, Cornerback
10/6/21 – James Thomas, Linebacker
10/7/21 – Eddie Watkins, Defensive End
10/13/21 – Darel Middleton, Defensive Lineman
10/13/21 – Kerry Martin, Jr., Cornerback
10/26/21 – Devell Washington, Linebacker
10/29/21 – Avarius Sparrow, Running Back
11/11/21 – Sam Brown, Wide Receiver
11/30/21 – Parker Moorer, Offensive Lineman
11/30/21 – VanDarius Cowan, Linebacker
12/5/21 – Isaiah Esdale, Wide Receiver
To refer to players like Ali Jennings, Alec Sinkfield, Tykee Smith, Dreshun Miller, Jeffery Pooler, Eddie Watkins, Darel Middleton, Kerry Martin Jr., Sam Brown, Parker Moorer and Isaiah Esdale as untalented players that couldn’t earn time on the field is wrong and short-sighted. These are talented young men who could have either started or provided depth in areas where the Mountaineers are terribly thin.
Losing 26 players in less than a year to the transfer portal is neither normal or acceptable. This mass exodus of talent is far more likely a major culture issue with the West Virginia football program under Neal Brown, and he should be made to answer to it immediately.