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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  • SmarterThanU

    Been watching him develop since Pee Wee, when he was primarily a LB. Into High School where he played WR, TE, LB, and DE. Not to mention being a starter on a state championship runner up team. Off to Gardner Webb where he enhanced his body and his skill set at the DE position. When my nephew uses the term "grind" he isn't just spouting off. Blood, sweat, and tears is what he leaves in the weight room, in the film room, and on the practice field. I hope he is reading some of these comments, because come game day it will only reinforce his "grind". Get your popcorn ready!

  • Mike

    Michael Strahan- Texas Southern
    Jared Allen- Idaho State

    Top Notch Schools

  • Big frickin Larry

    Smitty, robin, you guys are idiots!!!!

    Look at James Harrison @ pittsburgh. No body wanted the guy. No body had faith. Super Bowl DEFENSIVE MVP.

    Sometimes in life, the good things aren't advertised and you have to go find them.

    Not saying that this guy is gonna be James Harrison, but I am sayin those stated above should shut it and quit watching, following, or thinking about college foooseball!

  • Mitch

    To all you mealy-mouthed idiot know-nothings that think you know something, this is it:

    He was 180 lbs. coming out of high school, so he wasn't highly recruited. He has since gained 68 lbs. and was named a First Team Consensus FCS All American and the FCS DE of the Year.
    He is currently rated the #12 DE in next year's NFL draft. Right before he signed with us, Ohio State contacted his coach about him, but we got him.
    He is a track star as well, and excels in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter events.
    Right now he projects as 3rd to 4th round pick (you know, like Chas. Sims and Will Clarke?). His stock will undoubtedly rise with a year in Div.-1 competition.
    Now all you know-it-all keyboard warriors can go back to your x-box in your mommy's basement.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    Gardner - Webb ? Ok , bty , is that 8 twitter accounts associated with him ? How does that work ? He was on the radio (a media source that I am familiar with , unlike twitter ) and seems confident and mature . He said all the MAC schools ( except B Green ) were "after him " . He also said he had a sack against Pitt - I like him already . His next game , Alabama .

  • squad

    this guy is a big find for us. mark my words.

  • TruthTeller

    I am so glad he did not decide to transfer to the Suckeyes of Columbus, Ohio.

  • Shawn 108

    Well it can't hurt our pass rush. If he comes in and works hard then maybe he can do some things. Let's goooo

  • 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....