MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — If you can play safety and you’re on West Virginia’s campus, odds are you’ll have a chance to get on the field in 2019.
Sophomore E.J. Brown became the third player at that position to enter the NCAA transfer portal in a two-day span, joining presumptive starting strong safety Kenny Robinson and starting free safety Derrek Pitts. The news was first reported by 247 Sports.
Robinson entered the portal on Tuesday, reportedly due to a case involving an academic violation outlined in the university code of conduct. Pitts and Brown entered the portal separately the next day.
Brown’s departure should not have the same impact as the losses of Robinson and Pitts, though he stood to benefit from their absence. Brown redshirted in 2017, then played in 11 games as a special-teamer last season. He recorded one tackle.
Brown is a 5-foot-10, 204-pound native of Stone Mountain, Ga.
Brown and Pitts both practiced at strong safety in the spring. Jake Long was the No. 2 player at that position, and for the moment would be the default player atop the depth chart if no one else is moved over.
Fortunately for the Mountaineers, safety was a heavily-recruited position in the incoming class.
Incoming freshmen Osita Smith (Wilde Lake, Md.) and Tykee Smith (Philadelphia) are the two highest-rated players that the Mountaineers signed. 6-foot-5 freshman Rashean Lynn — the first high school player to sign with West Virginia after Neal Brown was hired — will also be in the mix for playing time. Charleston native Kerry Martin also has a leg up on playing time after enrolling early and participating in spring practice. Martin worked at free safety behind Robinson.