News & Notes: Not-So-New Additions To The WVU Football Roster
West Virginia’s football roster contains seven new names, but they aren’t exactly new players.
Those seven, all of whom are walk-ons, joined the Mountaineer football program in mid-August when the fall semester started at WVU, but West Virginia athletic department officials have long been a leery about listing such non-scholarship players because they often come and go somewhat quickly. Thus they usually wait until the student-athletes have lasted for a semester before posting their names on the roster.
Running back Owen Chafin (5-11, 191 lbs., RFr., from Huntington, W.Va.), safety Jordan Dempsey (5-10, 166 lbs., RFr., from Fayetteville, W.Va.), linebacker Truck Edwards (5-11, 215 lbs., Soph., from Bluefield, W.Va.), defensive lineman Cayden Keeler (5-11, 277 lbs., RFr., from Ripley, W.Va.), wide receiver Quamaezius Mosby (5-10, 179 lbs., Jr., from Wheeling, W.Va.), linebacker Mike Powers (6-0, 225 lbs., RFr., from Marysville, Ohio) and safety Nick Yoho (5-11, 189 lbs., RFr., from Parkersburg, W.Va.) have now, after a fall of practice and classes at WVU, been added to the Mountaineer football roster.
Chafin, Dempsey, Keeler, Powers and Yoho all were true freshmen for West Virginia this past season, though none saw any game action. Edwards and Mosby are transfers.
A key cog both as a fullback and linebacker on Bluefield’s class AA state championship team in 2017, Edwards initially attended Pitt as a true freshman in 2018. He didn’t see any game time for the Panthers and decided to transfer back to his home state in the summer of 2019. Though he also was an excellent fullback at Bluefield, WVU lists him as a linebacker.
Mosby is a product of Wheeling Park High School who spent two years at West Liberty (W.Va) University, catching 10 passes as a redshirt freshman for the Hilltoppers. He’ll try to work his way into the Mountaineers’ wide receiver rotation next season as a junior.
Those seven obviously aren’t the only walk-ons on West Virginia’s football team, just the latest. Punter Leighton Bechdel, receiver Freddie Brown, offensive lineman Tyler Connolly, defensive end Rhett Heston, linebacker Drew Joseph, receiver Graeson Malashevich, offensive lineman Nick Malone, defensive back Naim Muhammad, defensive back Malachi Ruffin and defensive back Jayvon Thrift also were all true freshmen walk-ons in 2019, but each of those had started practice prior to the start of the fall semester, so they had already been listed on the Mountaineer roster. There are also approximately 15 other older WVU players who also are walk-ons who currently populate West Virginia’s roster
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Of the eight underclassmen transferring out of West Virginia’s football program, three have publicly announced their new homes. Offensive lineman Josh Sills (Oklahoma State), safety JoVanni Stewart (Houston) and receiver Tevin Bush (Nicholls) each have revealed their new schools.
Another seems to locked in on a new destination, but to this point hasn’t public confirmed the news. Still it appears that safety Kwantel Raines is headed to Temple.
That leaves four others who remain searching – tight end Jovani Haskins, running back Martell Pettaway, quarterback Jack Allison and wide receiver Ricky Johns.
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Former Mountaineer quarterback Pat White is on the move.
White, who starred for WVU from 2005-08, got into the coaching world a couple years ago, spending the past two seasons coaching quarterbacks at Alcorn State, an FBS program in the SWAC that finished 9-4 in both 2018 and 2019.
White is jumping up to the FBS level now, as he’s been hired by new South Florida head coach Jeff Scott, formerly the Clemson offensive coordinator, to oversee the running backs for the Bulls.
“We are very excited to have Pat join our staff and lead our running backs unit,” Scott said in a statement released after hiring White on Thursday. “Pat was an electrifying player that I’m sure Bulls fans remember well. He played at a very high level, broke records and won a lot of games as a quarterback at West Virginia and has had tremendous success in two seasons coaching at Alcorn State. He will be a great coach and mentor for our USF players.”