Roster Additions, Position Change For WVU Football
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–The Mountaineer football team has added three more new enrollees for the start of the most recent summer school session, but there are three other signees whose status is still up in the air.
Michigan transfer defensive lineman Rueben Jones, Cerritos College transfer safety Noah Guzman and freshman defensive back Tacorey Turner all are now enrolled at WVU, according to a University source.
The entrance of Jones and Guzman had been expected, but Turner had been somewhat forgotten about in recent months.
A 6-foot-1, 175-pound cornerback from Park Crossing High School in Montgomery, Alabama, Turner verbally committed to West Virginia last winter shortly after Neal Brown and his staff arrived in Morgantown. Brown and his coaches had previously been recruiting Turner to Troy and then worked to entice him to WVU. Turner committed to the Mountaineers over offers from not only Troy but also Mississippi State and Louisiana Tech, but he apparently didn’t sign a binding National Letter of Intent, at least it wasn’t reported in West Virginia’s release on the class of 2019. But now five months later Turner has landed at WVU. He could be either a safety or cornerback for the Mountaineers.
Jones and Guzman also are now in Morgantown. Jones is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound defensive lineman who comes to West Virginia as a grad transfer from Michigan. A native of Lakeland, Florida, Jones spent four years with the Wolverines, but only played sporadically in the talented and deep UM defensive line. He saw action in 15 games in his career and recorded seven tackles. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Michigan this spring, he was free to move on to another FBS program and play right away as a grad transfer. He has one season of eligibility remaining and hopes to work his way into the rotation in the Mountaineer d-line this fall.
Guzman is a 6-foot, 205-pound safety from the Los Angeles suburb of La Puente, California. He was third in tackles at Cerritos last year with 74 and is eligible to transfer up to a FBS program and play right away. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining and four years to use them. The sophomore could very well push for playing time this season at WVU, whose depth at safety took a hit this summer with the departures of projected starters Kenny Robinson and Derrek Pitts, as well backup E.J. Brown.
The scholarship status of Jones, Guzman and Turner, in terms of who is a member of the class of 2019 and who arrives as a blueshirt and thus will count towards the numbers for the class of 2020, is still unclear, as WVU 25-player maximum for the class of 2019 seems to be overflowing.
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Three incoming freshmen who signed with West Virginia for the class of 2019 – safety Rashean Lynn, safety Osita Smith and offensive lineman Brandon Yates – are still not enrolled at WVU, and their future status with the Mountaineers is reportedly up in the air.
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One position change that was speculated upon following the exits of Robinson and Pitts is apparently in the works.
Josh Norwood, who started 10 games for WVU last year at cornerback, now reportedly is working out at safety. He, as well as juniors Sean Mahone and Jake Long, would appear to be in the position battle for the starting jobs at the cat and free safety positions.
It seems unlikely Brown’s staff would move a starting cornerback in Norwood unless they expected him also to be a starter at safety, though obviously he can always return to cornerback if necessary.
Norwood’s move leaves seniors Hakeem Bailey and Keith Washington as the top corners, along with junior Dreshun Miller, who arrived at WVU last January after transferring from Eastern Arizona College. True freshmen Nicktroy Fortune, Tavian Mayo and Tacorey Turner could also factor in at the cornerback slots.
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Former West Virginia guard Trey Doomes is transferring to Chattanooga.
Chattanooga announced Tuesday that Doomes has joined the Mocs’ program. Doomes will seek an NCAA waiver that would enable him to play for Chattanooga immediately rather than sit out the 2019-20 season.
Doomes played 12 games for West Virginia as a true freshman in the 2018-19 season. He averaged 2.2 points and 0.9 rebounds. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining.
Chattanooga coach Lamont Paris says Doomes’ “athleticism and potential to be a high-level defender on the wing is exciting.” Paris adds that Doomes will “be one of our better guys at attacking the rim and getting downhill.”
With Doomes finding a new home all the underclassmen who transferred out of West Virginia’s men’s basketball program after this past season have announced their new colleges. Beetle Bolden is at Alabama, Wes Harris is going to Tennessee State, Lamont West is bound for Missouri State, and Drew Gordon is headed to Louisiana Tech.