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.

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  • Cigarman

    Easy Mounties, I think a fellow by the name of Schmit (I probably spelled it wrong, sorry Owen) transferring from a small school (div 3) and boy what a great one he was!

  • Robin

    Excuse me but we are talking about Gardner-freaking-Webb here. Not like the guy transferred from Alabama or Auburn defense. If he is fast and strong then the end seems like the right place as tall and long is hard to pass around.

    • Mitch

      @ Robin,

      Excuse me clueless, but Ohio-Freaking-State contacted his coach about him right before he signed with us. What do you freaking think about that?

      • Jason

        I think. If ohio state actually offered him and he turned them down for WVU, he made a freaking mistake.

    • uncle phil

      Watch your tone! Gardner-freaking-Webb would have beaten us last year!

  • Smitty

    Wow. What catch! Is this what we have come to. Excited about player from Gardner Webb. Wow. Beat out northern Illinois and who for him? We are really in sad shape and the ship is sinking quick! Thanks olie and Hollie. We are so proud of you both for all you have done! Yea right!

    • joe in buffalo

      Smitty, you are without a doubt the most clueless fan. Ohio state called his coach to see what his intrest level would be to play for THEE OHIO STATE..So sounds like to me he is a pretty good catch to me. Of course we all have to wait and see.So if you have nothing positive to say shut the blank up.

    • Steve

      Go talk to Owen and then talk about lower level guys. Get a life and go to Marshall. The Mounties don't need you and you dumbness.

    • Mitch

      @ Smitty,

      Wow! What a clueless idiot!

  • Byron VanPelt

    We need all the help for this coming season

  • Alex

    Any body know how many more scholarships we have for this upcoming year ?

  • Country Roads

    Congratulations to our coaches...Riddick can fit in great..

  • Alex

    I like Riddick from what I seen on video....Just think "Depth" that is where we hurt on Defense...Great job work coaches.....Wish we could get a QB ready to play at least one good year, give us time for Crest to develop....

  • Jim

    WOW! If you haven't seen this guy on You Tube.....think "Clowney" speed, then go watch! If this guy stays healthy too, all we need is a QB to step up.

  • ThatGuyOverThere

    he is 3" taller than Bruce Irvin same weight...he'll put on 10 more pounds before season starts...Not suggesting he is the same type of player Bruce was but one never knows...Maybe he'll be a diamond in the rough.

  • Rick55

    If this guy can help our pass rushing, it will make our secondary that much better. I agree that he needs to bulk up some, that's light for a defensive lineman in FBS football, and linebackers are traditionally not 6'6". Stay optimistic, my friends!

  • Bartholomule

    Let's see if this guy can throw the ball.

    • richard

      why the heck do we need to see if he can throw the ball? i hope you were being funny..........if not, then you're sports dumb!

      • Lee

        Boy, i bet you sure do live an exciting life. Lighten up Lucy...

    • Protechcpa

      I love that comment. Made my day!

  • justsayin

    Hope it works out for the young man. Gardner Webb is not exactly a powerhouse...even at the 1AA level. 245 lbs is not exactly the right weight either in the Big 12 for a DE. He needs to get 20 lbs. heavier and he's got 4 months to do it. justsayin.

  • cutty77

    Great addition to the defense. This Team is loaded with talent,but we have to have a QB that can make the plays we need to win. Number 9 ain't the guy either. He should be 3rd string at best.

  • wvufan

    Perfect set up to add pressure from the outside. Welcome to Morgantown sack master.

  • FNP

    Great Job by the coaching staff to bring this kid in. He will pay off big time! Let's Go EERS!!!