Departing WVU receiver Marcus Simms officially enters transfer portal

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Wide receiver Marcus Simms moved forward with his plan to leave West Virginia on Monday afternoon, formally entering his name into the NCAA transfer portal. Multiple sources confirmed that Simms’ name is now in the portal.

Players have the ability to pull their names out of the portal — WVU tight end Mike O’Laughlin did so after looking into a transfer during the changeover from Dana Holgorsen to Neal Brown. Simms has made it abundantly clear his scenario will not be playing out the same way, posting multiple farewell messages to fans and teammates alike on social media.

Simms first announced that he was moving on to “another chapter” Sunday night.

On Monday, Simms expressed confusion with his perceived status under Brown. When a fan tweeted that Simms would have been “the guy” for West Virginia this season, Simms replied, “Shoulda been the guy… Everything happens for a reason.”

Simms was West Virginia’s top returning receiver with 87 career receptions for 1,457 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed all but two of WVU’s spring practices, first to deal with a hamstring injury and then for what Brown categorized as a personal issue.

West Virginia’s coaching staff clearly anticipated there was a possibility they would be without Simms in 2019.

The Mountaineers recently added transfer wideout Sean Ryan, who left Temple after the Owls went through two coaching changes within a month. WVU is attempting to get Ryan a NCAA waiver to play this season due to the circumstances of his transfer.

There’s also been a conscious effort to make junior receiver T.J. Simmons the face of offense. Simmons emerged as the feature player in WVU’s passing game during Simms’ absence, and even narrated a school-produced hype video introducing the new-look Mountaineers prior to the spring game.

Simmons and Simms shared their admiration for one another on Twitter while also expressing disappointment that they won’t be teaming up this season.

Simms has one year of eligibility remaining. Unless he receives a waiver, he would have to sit out this season if he transfers to another FBS program. He’d be able to play right away if he went to the FCS level.

Simms is the second player to transfer from WVU since Brown took over for Holgorsen in January. Center Matt Jones left West Virginia to go to FCS Youngstown State, though he said his plan to play for his hometown school was already in place prior to the coaching change.

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