MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Defensive end Shaquille Riddick, one of the top FCS defensive players last season at Gardner-Webb, announced via Twitter on Friday that he’ll transfer to West Virginia for his final college season.
“I’m ready to continue my career and the next step in my life. I’m excited and ready to be the grind with my new Morgantown family. Let’s get this work #wehere #big12 #levels #AVO #330 #blueandgold #mountaineer #WVU,”
Despite jumping from the Big South to the Big 12, the 6-foot-6, 245-pounder is expected to make a huge contribution to West Virginia’s pass rush. Riddick made 19 tackles for loss, including 8.5 sacks and 17 quarterback pressures at Gardner-Webb last season. He registered 67 total tackles in 11 games, finishing fifth in voting for the Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the top defensive player in Division I-AA.
Now the Ohio native is ready to test himself against better competition. He also considered Northern Illinois and Akron.
“Shaquille has put himself in a position academically to graduate two semesters ahead of schedule and he feels strongly that he should transfer in an attempt to play FBS football closer to home,” Gardner-Webb coach Carroll McCray announced May 6.
A potential NFL talent, Riddick wants to prove his skills can translate to the major-college level, and he’ll have that opportunity with the Mountaineers, who are seeking to replace three-year starter Will Clarke at defensive end.
During the spring, West Virginia primarily used Dontrill Hyman, Christian Brown, Kyle Rose, Eric Kinsey and Noble Nwachukwu as ends in the 3-4 scheme. With Rose shifting inside to nose for the time being, Riddick stands to become WVU’s best pass rusher from the day he steps on campus.
There’s also a chance Riddick is mobile enough to join linebacker Brandon Golson at the Buck.