MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Her name is Kim Webster, but you probably know her as Ginger from the role she played on the television hit series “The West Wing.”
You know, as in “Ginger! Get the popcorn!”
Since then, this proud West Virginia University alum has branched out into producing and won some prestigious awards while remaining a huge fan of her alma mater’s sports teams.
Like so many of them, she is frustrated.
This is what Kim Webster tweeted on Wednesday after Mountaineer defensive end Jeffrey Pooler became the latest player to enter the transfer portal:
I feel like the NCAA Transfer Portal is where all of my WVU National Championship dreams go to die 😩
— Kim Webster (@itskimwebster) April 29, 2021
She is not alone. Go to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram … doesn’t matter. WVU fans are up in arms, believing the transfer portal is making it almost impossible for them to put together teams of championship quality.
The problem is, they may be wrong.
Yes, we know, it lost three defensive starters with Pooler, cornerback Dreshun Miller and star safety Tykee Smith.
When you consider that All-Big 12 defensive lineman Darius Stills and all-Big 12 linebacker Tony Fields II also are gone from the defensive unit which was No. 4 in the nation last year, it is difficult to accept that the Mountaineers will be capable of maintaining the same level of play from a year ago.
But if one were to delve a little bit deeper into the situation, one might see matters in a different light.
Players transferring is not a bad thing and WVU has benefited over the years as much as anyone from transfers.
Think about the quarterback position. You can go back to Jeff Hostetler, who helped Don Nehlen establish the program that now is highly respected, to see how much a transfer can help a school … and Hostetler came over from rival Penn State.
If you go back over the last seven years, quarterbacks who transferred into West Virginia have thrown for 24,478 passing yards for the Mountaineers. That is 99% of the passing yards over the last seven years.
The names are memorable … Clint Trickett, Skyler Howard, Will Grier, Jarret Doege.
And last year, when Doege had a first half in the Liberty Bowl against Army, he was rescued by transfer QB Austin Kendall, who rallied the Mountaineers to a win.
Not sure where WVU would have been without those transfers, but certainly wouldn’t be where they are today.
Transfers have brought life to WVU, not been a death penalty. Tony Fields II, expected to go in the NFL draft this weekend and last year’s leading tackler, came from Arizona.
As did the team’s second top tackler, safety Alonzo Addae, who transferred in from New Hampshire, of all places.
This year’s roster is filled with key transfers or players recruited out of junior college — Doege, Addae, defensive end Taijh Alston, wide receiver Isaiah Esdale, offensive linemen Doug Nester, John Hughes and Ja’Quay Hubbard, wide receiver Sean Ryan, kicker Tyler Sumpter and the man who well may have the same impact on the defense as Fields did, his former Arizona teammate, safety Scottie Young.
What’s happened is that many believe WVU is getting hit harder than other schools and that’s only partly true. WVU has had 17 players enter the portal this year and had only three players transfer in, but one of them is a key addition in the offensive line in Doug Nester from Virginia Tech.
Here is the breakdown on the football transfer portal in the Big 12:
— Kansas, which has had a coaching change and has been the league’s bottom feeder, had 23 players transfer out and just 3 transfer in.
— TCU had 19 players transfer out and four in.
— Oklahoma had 17 players transfer out but did lure seven players.
— Texas Tech has lost 16 players in the portal but has taken eight players from it
— Kansas State lost 14 players and picked up seven.
— Texas lost 13 players and gained seven.
— Iowa State lost eight players and has had only one transfer in.
— Oklahoma State had eight transfer and picked up five.
— Baylor lost seven players and replaced them with five from the portal.