Monday, May 29, 2023

WVU’s Investment In Neal Brown

  Photo Courtesy Chris Jackson / AP   Fans are fed up with the way the WVU Football program has been this season, but it is WAY too early to even discuss the firing of Neal Brown. There are two major reasons: He hasn't had a full season with HIS players yet. WVU simply cannot pay his enormous buyout. Neal Brown's original contract had him with the Mountaineers through he 2024 season, but was extended this past spring through 2026. This contract through 2026 is worth roughly 19 million dollars. For reference, when former head coach Dana Holgerson signed his five year extension in 2016, it was worth 18.7 million dollars. Needless to say, West Virginia has invested A LOT of money into Neal Brown. And they have done it in hopes he would build the program and win games. Unfortunately, that is not done overnight as some fans think it is. But, even though a brand isn't built overnight, there is zero excuse to be 2-4 in year three of Neal Brown. This is not West Virginia football. Players are leaving in droves, the fan base is more divided than ever, and the team isn't winning games. This was not in the minds of Shane Lyons, Gordon Gee, and everyone else who calls the shots when they made this vast investment into Brown. Let's disregard the present predicament and let's travel back to when WVU announced Brown as the new headman of WVU Football. Brown accepted a 6 year, 19.05 million dollar contract which made him the highest paid new Big 12 Coach. West Virginia took this gamble because Neal Brown has proven he is a winner and a fighter. Three 10 win season and notable games against LSU (W 24-21) and Clemson (L 30-24). Now, at 2-4, this investment is looking shaky. But there is still time. Neal's first true recruiting class comes in next season. The next few seasons is where we will truly get an idea of the Neal Brown hype.

JT Daniels Loves West Virginia

(Photo by Ben Queen - USA Today)   It’s no secret that Mountaineer Nation loves and embraces quarterback J.T. Daniels. The California native has arrived in the Mountain State and took over the Old Gold and Blue by storm. Through four games, Daniels has thrown for 956 yards, 7 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, and has also scored a rushing touchdown. Daniels was recently a guest on Sirius XM and was asked about how he is fitting in at his new home in Morgantown…   ”I love it. My dogs love it here…It feels like my type of environment that’s just straight down to ball with good people…We continue to embrace that we are more of a blue collar, continue to fight kind of team.” There you have it, folks. Not only does West Virginia love Daniels, but he also reciprocates that love. Morgantown is a special place to many people, and this is no different for the weathered five-star quarterback. When he plays this game for the Mountaineers, he knows that he is playing it for 1.8 million West Virginians. This is an important quality to have. Most players in today’s game only focus on themselves and what’s in their best interest. That’s not who Daniels is. He understands that this game means so much to so many people in this great state. Any time you land a player that understands the magnitude of the game to so many people, you need to cherish them for as long as they wear the uniform. Daniels will have his next opportunity to suit up for the Mountaineers tomorrow when West Virginia travels to Austin, Texas to take on the Texas Longhorns. Should he notch this victory under his belt, then things should only look up from here for Daniels and West Virginia. Kickoff for WVU-Texas is set for 7:30. The matchup will be televised on Fox Sports 1.

Geno To Make Another Primetime Start

Photo Courtesy Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times Former WVU standout and now Seattle Seahawks QB is making his 2nd straight start on the primetime stage. This time on Monday Night Football Saints (3-2) @ Seahawks (2-3) 8:15 ET ESPN Last week, Geno lost in overtime to the Steelers in heartbreaking fashion. This week Geno is back at home and is hoping to continue his impressive play behind a home crowd.

West Virginia Top Target POSTPONES Commitment

Morgantown, West Virginia - Four star wide receiver Kevin Thomas was expected to make his commitment announcement today and West Virginia was the likely destination.  However, Thomas’ plans have changed. According to Thomas, he will not be committing today. Thomas, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has offers from several of the top programs in the country, but recently narrowed his choices down to Florida, Michigan State, Nebraska, Texas A&M and West Virginia. It’s unclear why Thomas has decided to postpone the announcement or how this affect’s West Virginia’s chances of landing him so stayed tuned!  

Speculation that West Virginia Negotiating a Buyout with Vic Koenning

Morgantown, West Virginia - Dave Weekley, host of Hotline on the MetroNews network in West Virginia, recently brought up a very reasonable, possible scenario surrounding the investigation into Vic Koenning by West Virginia University.  The investigation, which presumably started last month, is of course in regards to sophomore cornerback Kerry Martin's accusations about the defensive coordinator. On his nightly show, Weekley stated that perhaps the reason the investigation is taking so long is that Koenning is negotiating a buyout with the university. Weekley was clear to say that this was "only a guess on his part", but it's really the only logical reason that this "investigation" is taking as long as it is. The fact is that the damage is already done.  Koenning returning to coach player(s) that have accused him of mistreatment is simply not realistic.  West Virginia University would be wise to move forward quickly and get this situation behind them as swiftly as possible.  The indecision and doubt is not good for anyone...not recruiting, not the football program, not the university. With this said, a buyout appears to be the most fair, reasonable way to end this fiasco. If in fact the university is in negotiations to end his time as the defensive coordinator, Koenning should not accept anything less than the full amount he's owed on his current contract. Koenning currently makes $675,000 a year and is signed to a three year contract. On March 1, 2021, he is scheduled to receive a pay raise of $25,000, which would push his salary to $700,000.  In total, the university owes Koenning $1,375,000. If the investigation reveals that Koenning's offenses were not extreme, he should be paid in full.  From the accusations revealed on social media by Kerry Martin, Jr., Koenning's actions don't necessarily warrant him to be fired, but him remaining employed will only hurt the football program moving forward.  With this known, Koenning should absolutely demand to not take a penny less than the $1,375,000 that he's owed on his contract. West Virginia University, pay Vic Koenning what he's owed, move on and let's put this disastrous situation behind us.

Former West Virginia Starting Cornerback Finds New Home

Morgantown, West Virginia - Redshirt sophomore cornerback Daryl Porter, Jr., who recently announced that he’s left the West Virginia Mountaineers football program and entered the transfer portal, has found his new home. Porter announced that he has committed to play for the Miami Hurricanes. Porter is from the Miami area and former West Virginia defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae is the new defensive backs coach for the Hurricanes. Porter, a cornerback from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had 40 tackles and 1 interception for the Mountaineers this past season.  

Marshall Stuns Notre Dame

The Marshall Thundering Herd just walked into South Bend, Indiana and beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 26-21. Marshall (2-0) was paid $1.25 million dollars to travel to Notre Dame to beat the Irish. Huge program win for Marshall!

JT Daniels Will Visit West Virginia

Morgantown, West Virginia - Former Georgia Bulldogs quarterback JT Daniels has reportedly narrowed his potential new schools down to Oregon State, Missouri and West Virginia. Daniels, a former five star recruit and one of the nation’s best prospects, visited Oregon State last weekend, will visit Missouri this weekend and then West Virginia University the weekend after that (March 25-27), according to 247’s Greg Biggins. Daniels, a 6’3 junior, played for new West Virginia offensive coordinator Graham Harrell at USC as a freshman. Daniels would be the perfect transition quarterback to step in and start for the Mountaineers while the team’s young quarterbacks develop. Huge news for the Mountaineers!

Transfer Cornerback Commits to West Virginia

Morgantown, West Virginia - Moments ago, West Virginia landed a Christmas Eve surprise when former Murray State cornerback Marcus Floyd committed to play for the Mountaineers! Floyd, a 6’0 190 pound player out of Louisville, Kentucky, is a two-time Ohio Valley Conference selection and has two years of eligibility remaining.

West Virginia Running Back Enters the Transfer Portal

MORGANTOWN, West Virginia — Moments ago, West Virginia running back Tony Mathis, Jr. announced on his social media account that he is leaving the program and entering the transfer portal. Mathis, a 5’11 junior from Orlando, FL, rushed 135 times for 562 yards and 5 touchdowns last season for the Mountaineers. See his full message below:

WVU Gets Embarrassed By Iowa State

Absolutely nothing went right for the Mountaineers today as they lost their fourth game of the season to Iowa State, 42-6. The offense failed to get anything going for most of the day, finishing with only 54 yards rushing. Jarret Doege struggled with the Iowa State pressure all afternoon, and it showed in the box score. He would finish 21 of 41 for 209 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. Defensively, West Virginia would have their worst outing of the season, giving up almost 500 yards. The Mountaineers will return home next week to take on the Oklahoma Sooners.  

WVU Lands Quarterback Commit

Earlier this evening, West Virginia and Neal Brown landed a commitment from Sam Stoner, a quarterback from York, Pennsylvania. Stoner, who does not hold a rating on 247Sports, will be a preferred walk-on for the Mountaineers. He is the high school teammate of 2023 commit Jaheim White, and currently holds the school’s all-time passing record for yardage and touchdowns (5,296 yards and 66 touchdowns). The 2023 commit will join an already crowded quarterback room with Garrett Greene and Nicco Marchiol.

The Perfect Nickname for Darius Stills

Darius Stills is a West Virginia treasure. The hometown kid has come to Morgantown and made a name for himself. However, last Saturday, he may have made the most impressive play of his career. Stills made his first career interception in what was truly a Superman-like play. It has made me think, and I believe I have found the perfect nickname for Darius Stills. “Air Stills.” Yes, I am going with “Air Stills.” The big man went airborne, and showed off his athleticism with the interception. Not only is he a terror for opposing quarterbacks with sacks, but he can also force them to turn the ball over - and not with forced fumbles. We have one of the most athletic defensive lineman in the nation, and it is time we acknowledge that. “Air Stills” is the PERFECT nickname for Darius Stills moving forward.

Darius Stills Has Signed With NFL Agent

(Photo by The Associated Press)   Star WVU defensive lineman Darius Stills announced moments ago that he has officially signed with an agent to begin pursuit of his NFL career via Twitter. Stills signed with Goal Line Football, an agency founded by Brian Levy. The agency is known for assisting Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin in his career, per their website.

5 BOLD Predictions for WVU Football in 2021

Now that spring football is over, we can begin to look ahead to the 2021 Mountaineer Football season. Coming off of a 6-4 season, West Virginia will be looking to build on the success they had in a 24-21 Liberty Bowl victory over Army to close the 2020 season. Several players return on offense and defense, and many expect the Mountaineers to take another step forward this season.   For those of you that know us, we like to be a little bold from time to time. Today, we are going to make five BOLD predictions for WVU Football in the upcoming 2021 season.   Here are our predictions: Jarret Doege solidifies himself as a top QB in the Big 12 Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege was solid last season, passing for 2,587 yards and 14 touchdowns to only 4 interceptions. Many expect backup Garrett Greene to give him a run for his money by the time the season starts, but I'm just not buying it. Despite being benched in the Liberty Bowl, Doege will start AND finish the season for the Mountaineers. In the process, he will also solidify himself as one of the top signal-callers in the Big 12 Conference. He will not receive any accolades nor Heisman attention, but he will get the job done for West Virginia this season. The defense finishes atop the Big 12 again Statistically, West Virginia had the best defense in the Big 12 Conference in 2020. With the departures of Tony Fields, Darius Stills, Tykee Smith and Dreshun Miller, many expect the unit to take a step back in 2021. I, for one, am not a part of that crowd. Under the leadership of Jordan Lesley coordinating the defense, West Virginia will once again have the best unit in the conference. As a matter of fact, they will be a big contributor to the next prediction on our list. WVU knocks off top-10 Iowa State in October Iowa State has no business being in the position that they are. A program that was a basement-dweller in the Big 12 for most of their time in the conference, their recent success has them with a "big head," you might say. That will be until the Mountaineers knock them off in Morgantown in October. West Virginia is a better program than Iowa State, we all know that. Three-straight losses is enough against these Cyclones, and Neal Brown will have his troops ready to roll, notching a signature win in his young tenure. Neal Brown gets first win over Texas Since arriving in Morgantown, Neal Brown is 0-2 against the Texas Longhorns. Had the game been officiated fairly last season, this may not be the case, but it is a hand the team was dealt. Steve Sarkisian will struggle in his first season on the job in Austin. Losing Sam Ehlinger will hurt this team, and I expect them to take a huge step back in the upcoming season. Coach Brown will knock off the Longhorns for the first time in his tenure, and he may even give us a "Horns Down" hand gesture in the process. Circle November 20th on you calendars, it is going to be a great day to be....well, you know. WVU makes and wins another bowl game Something we grew so accustomed to under Dana Holgorsen was losing bowl games. This will no longer be the case under Neal Brown. For the second year in a row, West Virginia will make the postseason and return to Morgantown with a trophy in hand. We also expect it to be a more significant bowl appearance than the Liberty Bowl, which will bode well for attention on program. Whether it is the Alamo Bowl or even, in wild and exciting circumstances, a New Year's Six Bowl, another bowl win will be huge for Coach Brown's vision for the program.