Transfer portal, true freshmen color WVU’s 2020 schedule
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Despite missing a bowl game, the mood surrounding WVU football is still tinged with optimism and a feeling the 2020 season will bring more smiles and probably a bowl game.
By winning two of its last three games, the general feeling after the 5-7 overall record was dissected was that progress was seen in what was widely predicted to be a “rebuilding year.”
There was a “team first” attitude that spread over the roster like honey over homemade bread. The coaches seemed to like the players, the players seemed to respect and believe in the coaches. And the students and fan base began to trust the players and the team’s attitude.
There were no distractions over players trying to charm the NFL types.
After a period of learning the player’s strengths and value toward the team’s winning, players whose previous standings had been as reserve depth became starters and major contributors.
In the coming months-long off-season, the coaching staff will continue to evaluate the players. Some athletes will be moved to other positions.
And then there’s the so-called “transfer portal,” where players announce they want to leave WVU and try to find greener pastures outside of Morgantown. How many players will leave is unknown, but some will transfer.
West Virginia will benefit from players at other schools entering the transfer portal and wanting to shed the lack of playing time they saw in 2019.
How many transfers will the Mountaineers accept? How many of the transfers will have immediate eligibility and play roles in 2020?
The in-fighting that is always-present in the world of recruiting will have an impact on how many transfers WVU accepts.
With quality depth lacking in a number of areas, the Mountaineers will work long and hard to find true freshmen who can be helpful in 2020.
In a perfect recruiting world, WVU would bring in several true freshmen who would even start.
The 2020 schedule shows the Mountaineers playing five conference games at home and four on the road.
Two of the three non-conference games (Eastern Kentucky and Maryland) also at home. The third non-conference game is the season opener on Sept. 5 in Atlanta against Florida State. Two non-conference home games and one at a neutral site, plus five home dates in the Big 12 scrambling.
The 2019 season has 39 bowl games, where at least 78 teams are needed to fill them. Seventy-nine teams met the requirements to go bowling.
Can WVU get six wins next season?
If it does, the transfer portal and the number of useful true freshmen will have played a significant role in returning to the post-season.