MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Junior receiver Connor Arlia, an all-state player from Madonna High who walked on at West Virginia before earning a scholarship last season, was no longer with the team Wednesday.

Allan Taylor/MetroNews

Receiver Connor Arlia (83) has left WVU and reportedly will consider transferring to an FCS or Division II program.

News of Arlia’s departure came on the same day redshirt freshman tight end/fullback Will Johnson was dropped from the updated roster and freshman safety Isaac McDonald of Hialeah, Fla., reportedly was cleared by the NCAA to join the team.

The 5-foot-9 Arlia made seven catches for 43 yards while appearing in nine games as a sophomore, and he finished spring practice listed as a starter at inside receiver. He was one of three Mountaineer Ironman Award winners for his work in the offseason conditioning program and also claimed the Tom Nickolich Award as the team’s top walk-on.

An education major, Arlia could land at an FCS or Division II school.

Johnson signed with West Virginia in 2012 as a three-star prospect out of Osseo, Minn. He was ranked by Rivals as the nation’s No. 26 tight end that year and entertained offers from including 11 FBS teams including Iowa, Auburn, Ole Miss, Minnesota, Iowa State and Kansas.

Word of McDonald’s approval by the NCAA was first reported by Keenan Cummings of the and the Rivals network. The 6-foot-5 three-star safety could join his teammates this weekend, though his delayed arrival some two weeks after the start of preseason camp likely spells a redshirt season.

West Virginia is still awaiting word on two more signees—junior college linebacker d’Vante Henry and four-star linebacker Darrien Howard of Dayton, Ohio.


WVU coach Dana Holgorsen called Arlia and Johnson “great kids” and confirmed he will release them to transfer “anywhere they want to go to get themselves in position to play ball.”


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  • Wvubd

    I heard the coaches reneged on the scholarship they gave him in April. Good job Holgs! Way to screw a hard working wv boy who happens to be a good kid. Conner made the right choice and did it with class. These jagoff coaches are making it more difficult to be loyal to wvu. They will be sorry when there "boys" from fla or tex or wherever are academically ineligible by mid season.

    • FlyOnWall


      You heard correctly and its about time this was brought to lite. Dana is not only a horrible coach he is an even worse person.

      Sad to say Ole Stew was right.

  • Tim in Pgh

    It is amazing to see all of the people on this D1 athletes on this board say that Connor is not a D1 athlete. He walked on and earned a scholarship. That says something. He was the All State Good Hands Player of the Game in one of his games last year. That says something. He was one of three winners of the Mountaineer Ironman Award. That says something. It is a shame that he is being slighted by a bunch of armchair athletes. All the best to you Connor!

  • 1095 jones

    going 2 b a very long season...

  • tw eagle

    Mountaineer special teams will miss Arlia . . .apparently this young West Virginian wanted to earn his letter catching footballs . . .I hope he has a change of heart . . .it's not too late . . .

    • Charles

      No they will not. Great kid!!! But not a d1 true athlete. Just a good ole boy as nehlen would call it

  • Gunga Din

    Best of luck to Connor. Hope he gets in a situation where he'll be better equipped to make a greater contribution.

  • chad

    These two leaving the team would be equivalent to me leaving the team.

    In other words it's more benificial than detrimental. Opens up scholarships for two better players next year

  • big tom

    i get the feeling that dana is rehearsing for the NFL,,, having 16 recievers in camp,,, has he already forgotten how poorly the def played last yr, and how it pretty much destroyed the season..
    my guess is he wants a great off. yr this yr and he is gone to the NFL,,, it's i shame , i like him, but in no way can we afford that many recievers and absolutely forgetting about def
    as for howard , now wonder he chose wvu , no one else wanted to waste their time on a flunky...why does wvu always end up in ths position.

    • Mitch

      Why is it that the biggest losers always have the most ignorant mouths? Howard is an Honors student jackass....which is probably a lot more than can be said about you.

  • BigBadJohnHenry

    Two more receivers quitting the team. Put a revolving door on the WR meeting room. There'll be 3-4 more WR's quit before the season is over. Shannon Dawson==Jeff Mullen.

    • Charles

      Before speaking in public might want to not what you speak of!!!! These guys transferred for pt. nothing more or less. Understandable. Kids want to play. Nobody sets for years anymore. Nothing to see here. iMac came back. Sooooo maybe it was the kid not the coach last year. Copeland didn't line getting coached. Fr wr with a big head. iMac realized he was wrong. Moving on.

    • Jake Mitchell

      Jeff Mullen scored 70 points on multiple occasions? Jeff Mullen won a BCS bowl as a coordinator? Mullen had a top 10 offense? Great insight sports fan haha.

      • BigDave

        Speaking of Jeff Mullen, and I have no idea why I am, he is the OC for UNC-Charlotte, who play their first ever football season this year.

      • BigBadJohnHenry

        A 7-6 record is something to crow about isn't it with having a top-10 offense???
        Dawson was OC in that wonderful Pinstripe Bowl loss where the offense look so inspired.
        Dawson was the OC in that infamous Kansas State game where this alleged top-10 offense only scored 14 points, on national TV.
        Dawson has about as much business being an OC at WVU as the man in the moon does.
        Can't wait for Holgorsen to leave and take his drinking fraterity buddies with him.

        • cutty77

          Then what are you to do with Huggs. Drinking never hurt Huggs. lol

        • Dude

          Are you being serious?

          The offense having a couple of bad games doesnt equate him with Jeff Mullen at all.
          This team won 7 games due entirely due to the offense. They won in spite of a truly horrendous defense. Dawson wasn't responsible for that.
          Jeff Mullen never had an offense even close to what we had last year. Totally ridiculous to compare the two.

    • cutty77

      If they can't take the Heat get out of the Kitchen. This is Big Boy Football. I myself like it,we will see who wants to play,not who wants to just to be on The Team.


    I think losing Johnson was a much bigger loss.... all 6'6" of him. He came out of high school with offers from a lot of BIG schools.

    • Charles

      Too bad he doesn't like to block!!!

  • Wemakerain

    Just too much depth in the receivers, I appreciate your hard work during your time at WVU. Best of luck Conner

    • Wemakerain


  • chris

    These guys can't handle it they need to move on best of luck Connor.

  • That guy over there

    That is exactley what I thought about Connor....He always reminded me of Wes Welker...Best of luck man.

    • DWM

      Wes Welker with about half of his speed. I think he will have a great DII career with the eligibility he has left and will go on to do good things in his life if he applies the same work ethic he did being a Mountaineer.

  • Barry

    When I saw Connor play last year I thought he was pretty good. What is going to be strange is when he does really well at the NFL Combine and then tries out for the New England Patriots.

    • Alan J

      Everyone always says a player from WV is not D1 material without any real knowledge of the players ability. They obviously believe because he was instate and a walk-on he isn't 'D-1' material. The number of stars a player has on Scout or Rivals really doesn't determine their worthiness as a 'D-1' player as we have seen many times.

    • Charles

      Really!!!!!!! Really! I like the kid. But, you do realize he is not a d1 type of kid. He will not play in the league. What did he do so great last year??? He wants to play. I get it. I did the same thing to play. Transfer down. Understandable! But we was not d1. Just a good hard working kid. With our depth there was no pt for him. That is it. Nothing more or less.

  • Kevin T

    From starter to gone? Weird. Sounds like he couldn't handle yesterday's heat and constructive criticism of S. Dawson. Just strange.

    • cutty77

      Never was a Starter,so lets get that straight. This Team has i think 16 recievers.

      • Mac

        Yeah, I was curious where the "starter" was pulled from. Allan posted the penciled in depth chart a few days ago and Arlia was nowhere to be found.

        • Allan Taylor

          Arlia was atop the spring game depth chart, which Holgorsen stressed was tentative.

  • Pruntytown

    Before everyone gets on here either condemning Connor for leaving or Holgerson for forcing out a WV native, lets face the facts and reality of the situation. You don't have to be a football coach or expert to see that Connor's body type and speed was not D-I material. He did a remarkable job with what he had and I wish him the best in the future. But the reality is that he is better suited for D-II.

    • Mac

      Actually, I give Holgs props for letting them go without tacking on a bunch of silly provisions. All too often you see a kid want to transfer and a coach say you can't go to X, Y or Z schools. So regardless of the reasons for leaving something good came of it.

    • JJOEYO

      Connor was lacking quickness and size..He is a roommate of Clint Trickett's. " Interesting." . I'd like to be a fly on that wall.