West Virginia has been more active than most in bringing in new talent via transfers. And according to ESPN, a few of those transfers could have a big-time impact in 2018. ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg released his list of 32 transfers who could “shake up” the 2018 season, and three new Mountaineers made the list.
The group is headlined by Alabama transfer wide receiver T.J. Simmons, who is primed to settle into Ka’Raun White’s old role in the starting lineup. Simmons has been heralded as an X-factor for West Virginia this season, Rittenberg thinks his impressive spring performance could be a preview of good things:
“Unlike others on this list, Simmons lacks game production at his previous school, Alabama, where he played mostly special teams in 2016. But Simmons has been very impressive so far at WVU and will be part of a talent-stocked receiving corps that includes David Sills V and Gary Jennings.”
Rittenberg also lists defensive linemen Kenny Bigelow and Jabril Robinson among his top grad transfers. West Virginia found itself with a troubling lack of depth on its defensive line, and responded by jumping headfirst into the transfer market.
Bigelow, who came to West Virginia from USC, was first, committing at the end of March. A former 5-star recruit, Bigelow struggled with injuries at USC and will look to revitalize his career with the Mountaineers. Rittenberg is high on Bigelow’s potential, should he manage to stay healthy.
“If Bigelow can stay healthy — knee problems derailed his USC career — he should help a new-look West Virginia defensive front. It’s a long time ago, but Bigelow rated as ESPN’s No. 3 defensive tackle and No. 21 overall player in the 2013 recruiting class. He had three sacks in 2015, the only season he suited up for the Trojans.”
West Virginia also added Clemson grad transfer Jabril Robinson on Thursday. A member of Clemson’s 2016 national championship team, Robinson featured regularly for the Tigers last season, recording 19 tackles as a reserve.
Additionally, a former West Virginia player made the list as well. Wide receiver Jovon Durante, who started during the 2015 and 2016 seasons, was among Rittenberg’s top sit-out transfers. Durante went to Florida Atlantic after recording 709 total receiving yards and seven touchdowns in two years with the Mountaineers, and will be eligible in 2018.