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.
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 WVSports.com 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.
THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE:
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.”