WVU News, Notes & Rumors – 1/29
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Updating the latest happenings on the WVU campus.
More player attrition – It does not come as a huge surprise, but the Adams twins, Jordan and Jacquez, are no longer on the Mountaineer football roster.
The two brothers from Reisterstown, Md., each played cornerback but had seen very little action during their WVU careers. Jordan was a third-year sophomore this past season, while Jacquez, who came in a semester later than is brother in order to clean up some academic work, was a redshirt freshman.
Neither seemed to factor into West Virginia’s defensive plans at the cornerback position in the future, and both will apparently transfer to other schools in hopes of seeking more playing time elsewhere.
The loss of the Adams twins means WVU has seen seven players, all with eligibility remaining, depart the program in recent weeks. None was believed to be in a position to challenge for a spot on next year’s depth chart.
Besides Jordan and Jacquez, others who have departed were redshirt freshman punter Jonn Young, sophomore offensive lineman Alec Shriner, junior receiver Ricky Rogers, junior offensive lineman Ray Raulerson and junior defensive lineman Jalen Harvey.
Also two walk-ons – sophomore linebacker Jonah Campbell and redshirt freshman receiver Mitch Chugunov (the younger brother of WVU’s quarterback Chris Chugunov) – are no longer listed in West Virginia’s current roster.
Coaching movement – West Virginia’s football coaching staff has remained stable through the offseason, other than the addition of the 10th assistant coach in Dan Gerberry.
But a lot of those who were previously employed at WVU have been on the move.
- As we noted a couple weeks ago, former Mountaineer assistant coach Ja’Juan Seider (2013-15) had interviewed with Penn State. At that time it appeared Seider was not headed to Happy Valley but instead was going back to Florida, where he was the Gators’ running backs coach last year under Jim McElwain and was slated to be the tight ends coach under new UF coach Dan Mullen. Well, the return to Gainesville was short-lived, as Seider did indeed accept a coaching position at Penn State last week. He will oversee the Nittany Lions’ running backs.
- Former Mountaineer offensive lineman Garin Justice (2002-05) has found employment. After a successful five-year run as the head coach of Concord (W.Va.) University (40-17, 2011-15), Justice served as the offensive line coach at Florida Atlantic the past two years. He accepted a similar role at the University of Arizona last month, but when Rich Rodriguez was suddenly fired as Wildcats’ head coach, Justice and the entire UA staff were left in limbo. Justice ultimately found a coaching job replacing the guy who took his old spot at FAU. John Garrison departed UNLV to succeed Justice at FAU, but that left an opening with the Vegas program, and Justice ultimately was hired to replace Garrison with the Rebels. A native of Gilbert, W.Va., Justice will join another former Mountaineer at UNLV, as David Lockwood (1985-88) is entering his second season as the Rebels’ cornerback coach.
- Justice has done a lot of moving around lately, and so has former Mountaineer defensive coordinator Keith Patterson (2012-13). Patterson left WVU to team back up with his former East Central University teammate Todd Graham at Arizona State. Patterson was with the Sun Devils from 2014-17, but when Graham was fired at the end of this past season, Patterson looked for a job elsewhere. Three weeks ago he was hired as co-defensive coordinator at Memphis, but his stay with the Tigers was short. Last week he decided instead to take a position as the defensive coordinator and linebacker coach at Utah State.
- Patterson will have plenty of former Mountaineers to compete against in the Mountain West Conference, which is home to not only Utah State and UNLV, but also Nevada, where former WVU defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel is preparing for his second season as the Wolf Pack’s D.C., and New Mexico, where former WVU assistant coach and Arizona offensive coordinator Calvin Magee was recently hired as the Logos’ O.C. And add yet another MWC member, Colorado State, where Dave Johnson, a former WVU offensive lineman (1979-82) and West Virginia assistant coach (2008-10), was recently hired by the Rams to serve as CSU’s offensive line coach and run game coordinator. Johnson, who had been the o-line coach and run game coordinator at Ohio University from (2014-17), previously worked with current Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo at Georgia (2001-07). Since leaving WVU, Johnson had also coached at Cincinnati (2011-12) and UMass (2013).
- With Justice, Magee and former Arizona quarterback coach Rod Smith, who has recently been hired as the offensive coordinator at Illinois, accepting jobs, the only former Mountaineer on Rodriguez’s Wildcat coaching staff who has not yet found a landing spot is Jahmile Addae. Rodriguez also employed a number of others with West Virginia ties as part of his administrative staff at Arizona, including Mike Parrish, Billy Kirelawich, Dusty Rutledge, Chris Allen and Parker Whiteman. The future of each under new UA coach Kevin Sumlin is not certain, but word is none will be retained.
- The winningest active coach in NCAA football resided in West Virginia. But after 31 years at Shepherd University (245-93-1), Monte Cater is retiring. The 68-year-old from Shelbyville, Ill., had built the Rams into a Division II powerhouse, having won the conference title (first WVIAC and then its new rendition the MEC) in 10 of the past 14 years and had earned a D-II playoff berth in 11 of the past 19 seasons. His 2015 squad made it to the Division II championship game before falling to Northwest Missouri State.
Other than watching WVU from the Eastern Panhandle, Cater didn’t have anything to do directly with the Mountaineers, but one of his long-time assistants, Jeff Casteel, did. Casteel cut his teeth in the coaching profession by working for 12 years under Cater at Shepherd. Casteel eventually worked for 11 years at WVU (2001-11), and there was some conjecture that the Paden City, W.Va., native would be interested in succeeding Cater. But Shepherd stayed in house for Cater’s replacement, hiring Ram offensive coordinator Ernie McCook, who been on the SU staff for 19 years.