6:00: Morning News

Receiver Marcus Simms indicates he is leaving West Virginia football team

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The writing that has been on the wall all spring now appears to be set in stone in regards to West Virginia senior wide receiver Marcus Simms. Or to be more precise, soon-to-be former West Virginia wide receiver Marcus Simms.

Simms indicated on social media Sunday night that his time with the Mountaineers is coming to a close. The Bowie, Md. native tweeted “On to another chapter” followed by the emojis for a smiling devil and “zipped lips.”

A WVU athletic department spokesman could not confirm that Simms is going to transfer. A different source from outside the WVU athletic department said that Simms’ name does not appear in the NCAA transfer portal. However, every other indicator says that Simms is gone.

Simms’ father, Mo, chimed in by replying “Congrats! Well deserved, need to be appreciated” to Marcus’ original tweet. That tweet was later deleted.

Former WVU teammates Gary Jennings, Jack Allison, Martell Pettaway and Bryce Wheaton all wished Simms well with his future.

A fan expressed disappointment that Simms’ final play in a West Virginia uniform was an Oklahoma helmet-to-helmet hit that knocked Simms out of the game due to concussion protocol. Simms indicated that it was indeed his last play as a Mountaineer, saying “Me too, will never forget it.”

Simms took the previous coaching staff by surprise with a late scratch from the Camping World Bowl against Syracuse. Simms said a hamstring strain would not allow him to play less than an hour before kickoff.

He participated in West Virginia’s first two practices under new coach Neal Brown before the hamstring issue cropped up once again. A week later, Brown indicated that Simms had to attend to personal issues. He has not been back with the team since.

Simms’ pending departure deals a major blow for a massively inexperienced receiving corps. Even on a team with Gary Jennings and David Sills, Simms was West Virginia’s fastest downfield burner. He has 87 catches for 1,457 yards and eight touchdowns in his three-year career. Simms was 11th in the Big 12 in receptions of 30 yards or more in both 2017 (seven) and 2018 (six).

Junior T.J. Simmons would be WVU’s most veteran receiver with 28 career catches for 346 yards.

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