Ahead of National Signing Day a couple of weeks from now, the West Virginia football program has brought in a player with Power Five experience. Limited P5 experience, but still.
In early December, Keion Wakefield announced that he would be transferring from Louisville. Monday, it was reported that Wakefield will continue his collegiate playing career for the West Virginia football team.
For what it’s worth, the wide receiver isn’t yet listed on WVU’s online roster.
Wakefield would be coming to the Mountaineers as a graduate transfer, making him immediately eligible to play for WVU in 2020. The upcoming season will serve as the receiver’s final year of eligibility.
A three-star member of the Cardinals’ 2016 recruiting class, Wakefield was rated as the No. 4 player regardless of position in the state of Kentucky.
Wakefield redshirted as a true freshman, then missed all of 2017 because of a serious and significant knee injury. In 2018, he caught one pass for seven yards in 10 games. This past season, the receiver caught seven passes for 80 yards. He also returned a pair of kicks for 44 yards.
Coming to WVU, the 5-10, 175-pound Wakefield will start off, at least initially, as a walk-on.
West Virginia may have his new offensive coordinator lined up, and it could come from an old regional rival. Penn State wide receivers coach Gerad Parker will reportedly be heading to Morgantown to be named the offensive coordinator of the Mountaineers. FootballScoop.com and Bruce Feldman of The Athletic were among the first to report the news on Friday.
West Virginia has not announced any coaching staff changes regarding Parker at this time (UPDATE: Now they have). Parker currently remains listed on Penn State’s football website.
Naming Parker the offensive coordinator would also suggest some internal coaching staff shuffling for Neal Brown, as two current assistants shared the duties in 2019. Matt Moore and Chad Scott shared co-offensive coordinator titles in addition to coaching the offensive line (Moore) and running backs (Scott). Both assistants remain on the coaching staff at West Virginia and could likely focus all of their energy on those respective position units in 2020. PArker could be sued to call the offense and coach the receivers for West Virginia, but that will have to be confirmed by West Virginia once any deal to add Parker to the staff is finalized.
West Virginia had a spot on the coaching staff open up with the departure of receivers coach Xavier Dye, who left the program to take on a roll at the newly assembled coaching staff at South Florida under new head coach Jeff Scott.
Parker has made previous assistant coaching stops with Kentucky, Tennessee-Martin, Marshall, Purdue, Cincinnati, and Duke prior to his joining the Penn State program in 2019. Parker has never been an offensive coordinator before but he has been a passing game coordinator at Tennessee-Martin and an interim head coach for Purdue for half a season in 2016.
UPDATE (7:01 p.m. ET) – West Virginia has officially announced the addition of Parker as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
“I’m excited to add Gerad to the coaching staff at West Virginia,” West Virginia head coach Neal Brown said in a released statemtn. “I have known him for many years, and we have similar roots in the state of Kentucky. He brings years of successful experience, not only on the field but also as a recruiter who has covered a lot of territory. He will make an immediate impact on our staff. I look forward to him and his wife, Kandi, and their family becoming a part of Mountaineer football.”
A star quarterback at West Virginia, Pat White will be tackling a new position in his first Power Five coaching job.
South Florida on Thursday confirmed that White has been added to first-year head coach Jeff Scott‘s coaching staff. White will be responsible for the Bulls’ running backs moving forward.
White spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons as the quarterbacks coach at FCS Alcorn State.
“We are very excited to have Pat join our staff and lead our running backs unit,” Scott said in a statement. “Pat was an electrifying player that I’m sure Bulls fans remember well. He played at a very high level, broke records and won a lot of games as a quarterback at West Virginia and has had tremendous success in two seasons coaching at Alcorn State. He will be a great coach and mentor for our USF players.”
In both of White’s seasons at Alcorn State, Braves quarterbacks were named SWAC Offensive Players of the Year. Those two years marked White’s first coaching job at the collegiate level.
At WVU, White was named Big East Offensive Player of the Year in both 2006 and 2007. He also earned first-team all-conference honors three straight seasons with the Mountaineers.
White was a second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in the 2009 NFL Draft.
With White’s hiring, Scott now has eight of his 10 on-field assistants on staff. Those are:
- Glenn Spencer — Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach (HERE)
- Da’Quan Bowers — Defensive Line (HERE)
- Charlie Weis Jr. — Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach (HERE)
- Pat White — Running Backs Coach
- Xavier Dye — Wide Receivers Coach (HERE)
- Joey King — Tight Ends Coach
- Allen Mogridge — Offensive Line Coach (HERE)
- Daniel Da Prato — Special Teams Coordinator (HERE)
Josh Sills may have left West Virginia, but, as it turns out, he won’t be leaving the Big 12.
On Twitter Tuesday morning, Sills announced that he’ll continue his collegiate playing career at Oklahoma State. As Sills is going to Stillwater as a graduate transfer, he’ll be eligible to play for the Cowboys in 2020.
Not only that, but the offensive lineman comes armed with two years of eligibility to use.
The move comes two weeks after Sills placed his name into the NCAA transfer database.
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, the Ohio native had started 22 of the 25 games in which he played for the Mountaineers. He started the first two games of this campaign before going down with a season-ending ankle injury. Following the 2018 season, Sills was named second-team All-Big 12 by the conference’s coaches.
In the 24 hours before adding recruits during the Early Signing Period, West Virginia saw a pair of players, including a large one literally and figuratively in Josh Sills, make their way into the transfer portal.
First up, it was running back Martell Pettaway who opted to take his leave of Morgantown. Tuesday evening, the offensive lineman Sills became the second to enter the NCAA transfer database.
The SEC Network‘s Cole Cubelic was the first to report the starting guard’s imminent departure.
Of the two, Sills’ decision to leave the Mountaineers is the most significant.
Prior to the start of the 2019 season, the Ohio native had started 22 of the 25 games in which he played. He started the first two games of this campaign before going down with a season-ending ankle injury. Following the 2018 season, Sills was named second-team All-Big 12 by the conference’s coaches.
It had been thought that the 6-6, 326-pound Sills would either return to WVU in 2020 or enter the NFL draft. Now, it appears he’ll move on to another FBS school as a graduate transfer.
The upcoming season will be the lineman’s last year of eligibility.
A three-star member of WVU’s 2016 recruiting class, Sills was rated as the No. 60 offensive guard in the country and the No. 52 player overall in the state of Ohio. Only one offensive lineman in the Mountaineers’ class that year was rated higher than Sills.