MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s football coaches have been silent on the recent departure of spring-semester enrollee Davonte James, who was among the most highly recruited signees in the Mountaineers’ 2014 class. photo

Springfield (Ohio) linebacker prospect Davonte James left West Virginia after spring semester.

In fact, there was really no acknowledgement at all of James leaving after the conclusion of spring practice; only a change to the online roster.

It appears to be a scenario players encounter frequently—being promised a chance to play one position during recruiting only to encounter a different situation upon arriving on campus.

A 6-foot-3, 230-pound standout linebacker at Springfield High School in Ohio, James enrolled in January but was impacted by the staff shuffling that occurred one month later when defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Keith Patterson left for Arizona State. Tony Gibson subsequently was promoted to coordinator, and newly hired assistant Damon Cogdell was assigned to linebackers.

Somewhat of a tweener, James reportedly was projected as a Buck linebacker during recruiting but was moved to defensive end during spring practice.

“I think Davonte had his heart set on playing linebacker, not defensive end,” a hometown source close to the player told MetroNews.

“When the coach who recruited him—who was going to be his position coach—left, they changed the defense from a 40 front back to a 3-3-5. Davonte felt that wasn’t in his best interests. It was totally a football decision.”

James was ranked a four-star linebacker by ESPN, which listed him the No. 9 overall prospect in Ohio and the nation’s 279th recruit overall. However, opinions on James varied drastically: He received a three-star rating from Rivals, whose analysts ranked him as the 74th-best player in Ohio.

James committed to West Virginia last August over Georgia Tech, Cincinnati, Purdue and Illinois.

He reportedly is leaning toward transferring to Cincinnati.

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  • Baldeagle

    Regardless who stays or who goes, we still do not have a QB. I think the defense will keep us in some games, but if you can't put points on the board they still come up as a loss. Once again it should be an interesting season and it can go either way regardless of the game with Alabama.

  • FungoJoe

    Has Bob Huggins taken over the football program?? The exodus continues from Morgantown.
    When will the folks in Morgantown realize they have two sinking major sports programs being run by imbiciles?

  • Roger

    Mr P = Another bitter Herd fan

  • Bearcat Grizzly

    If he doesn't have speed required to be outside linebacker, he will not be an outside linebacker at Cincy...take it to the bank. On the other hand, if James has what it takes to be an outside linebacker at Cincy, well he'll be an outside LB.

  • diamonddonn

    Here is how to solve the transfer problem: 1st all scholarships are for 4 years 2nd if players grades are high enough after 1st year they tell school if want post graduate classes at school all paid for 3rd if for family emergency they need to transfer they sit 2 years this helps stability at all schools and stops early leaving and recruiting by other schools

  • Mr.P

    WVU won't even play Marshall because they are afraid of adding another loss to their schedule

  • Not the Mad Hatter

    No hard feelings, Davonte! Good luck where ever you go. We could use the talent you would bring that's for sure. Please keep in mind that coming out of HS you're 6' 3" and 230, but by the time you reach your Senior season the strength coach is going to have you a lot bigger. Maybe that's what the new coaching staff saw in you. You'll learn, in time, that you have to put away your 18 year old ego and listen to what your elders are telling you. Lots of experience was there to help you along. Some with NFL backgrounds too. It would not serve any purpose to steer you in the wrong direction. Any way, good luck to you. GO 'EERS!

  • Mr.P


  • Mr.P

    Holgs,DeForest = FAILURE

  • Mr.P

    4-8 2014 Record (NO BOWL)

    • Rob

      Good assessment Mr. P. WVU will beat Towson, Kansas St., Kansas and TCU at home. WVU loses at home against OU and Baylor. Road losses will be Bama, Texas, TTU, Oklahoma St. That leaves them with road games at Maryland and ISU to try an eek out two wins to break even. I doubt they win both contest at UM and ISU. 5-7 at best.

  • Mr.P

    4-8 2014 Record (NO BOWL)

  • 304

    Who's next????

  • Shadow

    Good advice to any young person, if you don't like the job, find another one. Don't expect the job to change because you want it to change. Too many people stay on a job they don't like and complain that it isn't changing.

  • Metz

    Hate to see him go for he seemed like he has a lot of upside to him. But I can see why he'd want to leave. If you heart isn't there, then go where your heart is.

    • Bearcat Grizzly

      You got it Metz, football is tough enough, and if one's heart is not in it it just makes it that much tougher to be a success.

  • TruthTeller

    WVU is being controlled and manipulated by the bigger schools alumni. WVU should of won the Big 12 their first year in but the higher ups could not have that. A Big East team coming into the Big 12 and winning it their first year in. That just could not be. WVU beats Baylor and Texas and then the phone call was made to OL. Tell your team to start losing. All of a sudden the team that put 70 on Clemson, beat Baylor and Texas at Texas was going to win the conference their first year. That can't happen. The very next game BOOM!! They can't run, they can't pass, they can't catch????HMMMMM? Wake up people!!! WVU going to the Big 12 was a big mistake!!!! WVU can't be WVU. They are being controlled in every sport. Some body do the right thing and be a whistle blower. Tell the truth!!! Let the people of West Virginia know the truth...somebody grow a spine and come forward. Why do you think players are leaving?