MORGANTOWN — The NCAA’s Transfer Portal door swung shut behind West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms as he ran a pattern that few expected: neither transferring from, nor returning to WVU.
Instead, according to Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com, Simms has decided to enter the NFL Supplemental Draft. The Supplemental Draft is a seldom used route to the NFL and is set up primarily for players who have lost their eligibility after the draft is held in the spring.
Only 45 players have used it since its inception in 1977 and only two have used it since 2015. Both players came last year. The reason the supplemental draft is so seldom used is that teams lose a pick next season in the actual draft if they take a player from the supplemental draft.
Another receiver, Cris Carter is the only player ever to go through the Supplemental Draft to the Hall of Fame. Among those who became Pro Bowl players was Miami quarterback Bernie Kosar.
Simms’ eligibility came into question this spring when he missed all but two spring practices – first, for what was listed as an injured hamstring that had kept him out of the Camping World Bowl this past December, and then for what termed “a personal matter.”
Simms’ ability to transfer may have also been compromised by an alleged violation of the student code of conduct. To transfer, a player must be in good standing with the university from which they are trying to exit.
Starting safety Kenny Robinson, who also entered the transfer portal, was also under suspension for violating the university’s code of conduct.
Simms never met expectations at WVU. Hailed as a potential game breaker with sprinter’s speed, he ended up being overshadowed by the likes of Ka’Raun White, David Sills V and Gary Jennings Jr.
In 2017, White, Sills and Jennings combined for more than 3,000 yards in reception and 31 TDs while Simms caught 35 passes for 699 yards and 663 yards and 5 TD. Then last year, Sills and Jennings caught 28 scores; Simms 35 passes for 699 yards and just two touchdowns.
Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter at @bhertzel.