The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

May 17, 2014

All-America defensive end joins WVU

MORGANTOWN — While West Virginia University’s basketball program continues to be plagued by transfers, the football program continues to take advantage of the graduate transfer rule that allows graduated players with eligibility to join a team and play immediately.

The latest to take advantage of the rule is FCS All-America defensive end Shaquille Riddick, who promises to be a huge addition to an inexperienced defensive line and address a weak pass rush that plagued the team the past two seasons.

Players across America are trying to get their degrees early and transfer to a school where they feel they can better their position for a career in the National Football League or get playing time.

The Mountaineers benefitted when Ryan Mundy left Michigan to play safety at WVU and has gone on to an NFL career that saw him play for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Giants and the Chicago Bears.

Last year Clint Trickett, who was beaten out for the quarterback job at Florida State by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, transferred to WVU and won the starting job but played through an injury-plagued season. He has another year of eligibility.

The Mountaineers benefitted far more from the transfer of Houston graduate Charles Sims, who became an All-Big 12 performer at running back, surpassing 1,000 rushing yards and leading the Mountaineers in receptions.

He put himself in position to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the third round.

Earlier this year, WVU grabbed off another defensive player in DB Cullen Christian, who came in from Pitt where he felt he would not get a fair shake for playing time after fighting injuries.

Riddick, though, may be a gift from heaven because he addresses a real need and seems to come with exceptional talent. He finished fifth in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the best FCS defensive player, and was named All-America by eight different services.

Playing in 11 games, he led the team with 8.5 sacks, had 19 tackles for losses and 17 quarterback hurries.

His previous season, as a sophomore, he had 6.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and 10 quarterback hurries.

In his sophomore season, he had seven tackles, 1.5 for a loss, against No. 10 Wofford.

• Former West Virginia women’s basketball star Liz Repella confirmed via Twitter Friday that she is returning to become a graduate assistant under coach Mike Carey, replacing another former player, Madina Ali.

Repella, from Steubenville, Ohio, averaged 12.2 points a game during her four-year career that ran from 2008-2011.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Must WVU defense carry offense in ’14?

    The other day the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a story under the following headline:
    “In a year of change, must the Steelers’ offense carry the defense this year?”
    Reading that turned on a light.

    July 31, 2014

  • WVU takes first step today

    Perhaps the most used — and least factual — cliché in sports is as follows:
    “There’s no tomorrow.”
    Around these parts, however, tomorrow is what they are clinging to, while putting a new twist on the cliché, turning it to, “There’s no yesterday.”

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads