West Virginia has officially become yet another victim of an unintended consequence of the revamped redshirt rule.
Late last week, it was confirmed that JoVanni Stewart would bench himself for the Week 6 game against Texas as he contemplated a football future that included taking a redshirt for the 2019 season that would make him a healthy scratch for the remainder of the year. During his press conference Tuesday, first-year head coach Neal Brown confirmed that the starting safety “has made the decision to not be an active participant and, as a result, he is no longer a member of the team this fall.”
Because Stewart has played in just four games this season, he’ll be permitted to use his redshirt season. That would then leave the fourth-year senior defensive back with a season of eligibility he can use at another school in 2020.
Stewart started 11 of 12 games in 2018 before starting the first four games this season. Last season, the Texas native was second on the Mountaineers with 10½ tackles for loss and tied for fourth in tackles with 54.