Another Hit For WVU Defensive Line as McDougle Plans Transfer

Another Hit For WVU Defensive Line as McDougle Plans Transfer


West Virginia’s already thin defensive line took another major hit recently when Lamonte McDougle, who excelled as a true freshman last year, made his intention to transfer known to the Mountaineer coaching staff. McDougle earned notice on ESPN’s freshman All-America team after recording 23 tackles and two sacks in nine starts in 2017. Past his statistical numbers, he solidified the interior of a West Virginia defensive line that was attempting to retool following heavy losses. McDougle had not participated in spring drills as he recovered from off-season shoulder surgery.

Lamonte McDougle

McDougle’s reasons for transferring were not made entirely clear, but he apparently wants the chance to play in a system that allows defensive linemen to record more impressive statistics. While no system is designed to limit statistical achievement, West Virginia’s use of a three-man defensive front means that linemen are often charged with gap control rather than penetration responsibilities, and are required to tie up blockers to help keep linebackers and safeties free. McDougle had two tackles for loss in 2017.

His departure is the latest from a group that was already hit with the exit of Adam Shuler, who was expected to be a starter at defensive end. Shuler reportedly left to pursue opportunities in track field events, but is still planned to continue his football career. Jalen Harvey, a juco transfer, decided not to return prior to the spring, and both Jon Lewis and Xavier Pegues departed following their senior seasons. WVU is thus left with just one defensive line starter from a year ago (Reese Donahue), where it expected to have all three, plus a couple of relatively experienced backups.

This latest defection, which West Virginia coaches tried repeatedly to prevent, leaves the Mountaineers in a very dicey situation in terms of proven performance and depth. Ezekiel Rose and Reese Donahue will be the starters at ends, with Darius Stills, who, like McDougle, impressed as a true freshman, moving inside to take on nose duties. Past that, only little used Jeffery Pooler and Stone Wolfley return, and neither had any impact on defensive plays from scrimmage a year ago. Brenon Thrift, a transfer with one year of eligibility remaining, did earn praise as a member of the scout team a year ago, but now he will be counted on even more heavily. Walk-ons Connor Barwis, Nate Green and Sam Cookman were  also listed on the spring depth chart, but none have any playing experience. Incoming freshmen Dante Stills, Tyrese Allen and James Gmiter will have the same opportunities McDougle and Darius Stills did a year ago to break onto the field during their freshmen campaigns. WVU also has its eyes on a couple of grad transfers who be eligible for the 2018 season and provide immediate help.

Home forums Another Hit For WVU Defensive Line as McDougle Plans Transfer

This topic contains 18 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Shepherdstown Shepherdstown .

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  • #56735

    Another Hit For WVU Defensive Line as McDougle Plans Transfer West Virginia’s already thin defensive line took another major hit this week when Lamont
    [See the full post at: Another Hit For WVU Defensive Line as McDougle Plans Transfer]

    #56737

    THis one really hurts.

    #56742

    Absolutely. Now dependent entirely on guys that have no playing time on the defensive front, or incoming freshmen. That doesn’t mean they can’t do it, but West Virginia’s depth is non-existent here at the moment.

    #56752

    What is happening with all our defensive players leaving? Is there something happening with the coaching staff? We didn’t have much depth in the defensive line to start with, now no depth and little experience. Holy cow, I am getting very worried about this coming season!

    #56764

    This is becoming a dangerous situation. DL looked like we were finally starting to turn the corner in the signing period. Then we missed on a couple. Then guys began bailing. WTF is going on down there?

    We are down to 8 DL schollies. 3 of which are incoming FR. Will we even have enough bodies to fill a 2 deep?

    HUGE miss by the recruiting staff. At this point we just need bodies to scrimmage against. Anybody out there still have eligibility left? Anybody?

    #56769

    Gibbie is targeting two defensive line grad transfers, both of whom would be eligible to play next fall. With McDougle’s departure, it’s even more important to get at least one and preferably both.

    #56772

    For those of you that are close to the program ….. What is the problem here? Is it the 3-3-5? Is it Gibby? Is it Tall? There is something definitely going on to lose this many from one squad and not be able to back fill the positions. It’s not like QB or WR where they see they may have limited playing time for the next so many years because of great talent already ahead of them. These kids will get to play immediately and get lots of reps if they are any good at all.

    This is falling squarely on Tall and Gibby at this point. Shit flows down hill and Bruce may see it coming at a quick pace if we can’t get some bodies in here quickly.

    #56792

    This is devastating to an already inexperienced, undersized, and porous Defense. We better score 50+ per game just to nudge out victories. Another causality of not being able to recruit talent to the 3-3-5

    #56793

    That one is a big blow.

    #56803

    Something has to be going on. You do not
    Have that many transfer especially when they know they will get playing time and lots of it

    #56826

    Two starters off the defensive line. Not a good look.

    #56834

    I believe the bigger question is why can’t D H build depth? He brings it up every year but can’t provide any solutions on how to correct this problem.

    #56835

    To get depth you need to recruit bodies every year. Recruiting to the number of losses isn’t building the numbers you need. One of these years we need to bring in 6 DL then 6 more the next year you start replacing the losses with then number you think you’ll lose. Can’t build depth without bodies.

    #56877

    What is happening with all our defensive players leaving? Is there something happening with the coaching staff? We didn’t have much depth in the defensive line to start with, now no depth and little experience. Holy cow, I am getting very worried about this coming season!

    I think it’s a mix of reasons. Shuler had some motivation issues in terms of working. McDougle had unrealistic expectations of the statistics a defensive lineman can achieve, even in a four-man front. Some of the players that were going to be fifth year seniors and knew they weren’t going to play didn’t see the point of staying for a final year.

    As always, there’s a debate to be had over whether that’s the fault of the players or the coaches that recruited them. There’s no doubt that this is a big problem, even with the new DL grad transfer. Those guys might be able to help some, but it’s just not a plug and play situation, and you only get them for one year. Having to depend on them to shore up areas of weakness isn’t a viable long-term solution.

    #56878

    Something has to be going on. You do not
    Have that many transfer especially when they know they will get playing time and lots of it

    For McDougle, it wasn’t playing time that was the motivation. Apparently, it was bigger statistics. For Shuler, being able to participate in track may have been part of it, but consistent work might have been a part of it too. That doesn’t excuse everyone else, however. I don’t think there’s one thing or problem in play here, but a variety of things (including playing time for fifth year seniors) that also caused departures. Those likely knew they weren’t going to play based on performance and use in past years.

    #56879

    Good points made on depth, and here’s one other to consider. WVU has 15 scholarship offensive linemen right now. Only seven, at most, would be in line for playing time at the moment. So, in addition to just having the numbers (Which, as Butler points out, is the necessary starting point) you have to get guys that can play.

    Every OL isn’t going to be playing his first or second year. But by RS soph, you’d hope that at least 2-3 would be able to contribute.

    WVU hopes to fix this with the addition of the Brown brothers, but again, you can’t count on grad or late transfers to build depth, especially on the OL, where cohesion is so important.

    #56951

    Transferred over stats? LOL if you are good enough to play in the NFL, the NFL will find you.

    #57007

    Shuler leaving because we have no track team? Two years to play and he leaves now in part because no track team?

    Well, BRING BACK MEN’S TRACK. We’ve lost other recruits because they wanted the option to run track. Those sub 4.4 guys always keep that as a consideration. James Jett anyone?

    #57008

    I understand the cost of fielding another team and the Title IX implications, but it would not cost much to operate a men’s track team from an equipment standpoint and most track meets are coed so the teams could travel together.

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