WVU Football Roster Shows Little Change So Far
MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–A look at West Virginia’s football roster at the start of the current spring semester doesn’t reveal much unexpected change, despite the transition from one coaching staff to another.
Certainly there could be further attrition among those Mountaineers with eligibility remaining, but at this point, it looks like new coach Neal Brown is going have most of the scholarship underclassmen to work with, at least through spring drills.
WVU is losing 17 seniors from its 2018 squad – Dravon Askew-Henry, Toyous Avery, Matt Bezjak (a walk-on who graduated early), Kenny Bigelow, Yodny Cajuste, William Crest, Will Grier, Isaiah Hardy, Gary Jennings, Billy Kinney, Dominque Maiden, Jabril Robinson, Ezekiel Rose, David Sills, Skyler Simcox, Brenon Thrift and Trevon Wesco.
Also linebacker David Long decided to bypass his final season of college eligibility and apply for the 2019 NFL draft.
In addition, there have been Internet reports that Matt Jones, who had started for the past two seasons at center for West Virginia, was going to leave WVU as a grad transfer and play his fifth-year senior season elsewhere in 2019. But as of Wednesday afternoon, WVU officials said they can not confirm those reports. Then again, they didn’t deny them either. Jones has made no public comments about his future.
Another veteran Mountaineer offensive lineman, Colton McKivitz, did announce Tuesday via Twitter that he planned to return to West Virginia in 2019. McKivitz, who will be a fifth-year senior next season, has started 35 games of the past three seasons at WVU at offensive tackle. If he had left for the NFL this year, some draft sites projected he would be a third or fourth round pick, but the 6-foot-7, 300-pounder from Jacobsburg, Ohio, hopes to elevated his stock with another season at West Virginia.
While the seniors and Long are not among those on the current 2019 roster, Jones and all the other scholarship players with eligibility remaining are still listed. In fact, there is only a handful of walk-ons who were on the team at the end of last season who are not part of that roster. One of those, wide receiver Druw Bowen, announced previously he was going to transfer to West Virginia State, while another, running back Brady Watson, has indicated he plans to spend his final college season playing at Frostburg State (Md.) College.
The other three walk-ons no longer on the roster are safety Pius Adomako, offensive lineman Chris Brown and cornerback Jaelen Gross.
Three new scholarship players – junior college cornerback Dreshun Miller, high school defensive back Kerry Martin and junior college Taijh Alston – are supposed to enroll at WVU for the start of the spring semester. While none of the three is yet listed on the Mountaineer roster, all of them are already enrolled or are expected to be so by the end of the week. West Virginia officials plan to put out a list on Thursday or Friday of all the new enrollees who will be part of the football team this spring.
A non-roster change for WVU appears to be coming to the Mountaineers’ strength staff, though. Darl Bauer, who has been on West Virginia strength staff for the past 10 years, is reportedly following Dana Holgorsen to the University of Houston.
At this point, though, the roster of Mountaineer players doesn’t show a whole lot of change.