Morgantown, West Virginia – There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the West Virginia football program and the coaching staff in particular. With so many unknowns, several players will look elsewhere during the offseason. Neal Brown was asked recently about players potentially entering the portal and here’s what he had to say:
“You got to be ready,” Brown said. “So what we’ll do next week is we’ll try to get in front of it. There’s the new dead period where the portal opens Thursday or Friday and there’s a period there where it’s dead recruiting. Coaches can’t leave campus. And that dead period is in there so you can have conversations with your players. I’m quite sure that our best players are and the guy that we have to put a premium on retaining, but they’re going to have options. I can get up here and gripe and complain about it but that’s the world we live in.”
With that said, here are the players who will be draw the most attention from other schools this offseason:
5. Jacolby Spells – Outstanding freshman defensive back from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Spells has 13 tackles and 1 interception for the Mountaineers this season. I could easily see a Florida school convincing him to return home for the remainder of his career.
4. Will Crowder – Redshirt freshman with a ton of ability, Crowder is really stuck in a complicated situation in the West Virginia quarterback room. It’s unlikely that he will jump Garrett Greene, JT Daniels or Nicco Marchiol on the depth chart and he is likely wondering if he’ll ever get his chance. Watch for Crowder to transfer to a smaller school where he will have the opportunity for real playing time.
3. Kaden Prather – Massively talented 6’4 sophomore wide receiver, Prather could gain the attention of top programs around the country. Prather has 50 receptions for 487 yards and 3 touchdowns this season.
2. CJ Donaldson – Rumors of Donaldson transferring surfaced last week after he removed his West Virginia mentions from his social media platform and “liked” a comment about him entering the transfer portal. A 6’2 240 running back, Donaldson showed that he can be an incredibly effective running back.
- Nicco Marchiol – Marchiol was likely told that he would have a chance to compete for the starting quarterback position when he was recruited. Then the coaching staff went out and got JT Daniels and suddenly, Marchiol’s opportunity to play was gone. Neal Brown handled this situation poorly and there’s a very good chance that West Virginia could lose one of its finest recruits in a long time due to it.