Dana Holgorsen Video: Redshirts & Transfers
After he was finished with the larger press conference on Tuesday at the Big 12 Media Days, West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen answered a few questions away from the podium.
The main topics of this separate interview session were redshirts and transfers.
A new NCAA rule that will go into effect this fall will allow a player an opportunity to participate in as many as four games in a season and still be able to claim a redshirt.
“A couple years ago, we needed Martell (Pettaway, then a true freshman who had not seen any action up to that point) at Iowa State in game 11,” said Holgorsen when asked about the new redshirt rule. “He helped us win that game, but then the other running backs came back, and we didn’t need him as much in game 12 or the bowl game. That really wasn’t fair to him.
“I can see also young kids not being ready early but being ready late. That’s happened. I pulled David Sills’ redshirt in game eight (actually game six) when he was a true freshman.
“Then there are guys who you think are ready, but when the lights get turned on, they’re not very good. They need to develop, and they need to redshirt. It can be an injury situation. It can be a development situation. I think (the rule is) good for the kids and good for the game.
“I’m not interested in playing kids early just to see if they can play. I’m interested in winning games. We have high profile game in game one this year. I’m not going to put a kid out there and hope he’s ready. I think every kid is going to be in a different situation, and every team is going to have different scenarios where they use that rule.”
In Holgorsen’s first full recruiting class in 2012, he signed just one transfer, Mark Glowinski of Lackawanna College. But West Virginia’s reliance on the transfer market has been much greater since. This year WVU has eight transfers, which is actually down a bit from the 10 transfers the Mountaineers brought in in 2017 and the 12 who enrolled in 2018.
“We changed our (recruiting) model,” said Holgorsen, remembering his early days at West Virginia. “We needed to do something different because we weren’t very good and we were going to get fired. It’s to the point where that’s what’s worked. We’ve figured out a good way of doing it. We’ve changed our recruiting strategy, and we’ve changed where we spend our money and our time and how we research these guys. It’s worked, so if it works, you should probably keep doing it.”