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West Virginia still has areas of need in Portal

West Virginia still has areas of need in Portal

The transfer portal has closed and West Virginia came out ahead for the most part.

The Mountaineers lost several players who could have played a role this season, most notably wide receiver EJ Horton and cornerback Montre Miller, but were largely able to keep most of the roster together.

And now the focus turns to identifying and trying to fulfill the last remaining needs.

“We’ll look to potentially add some pieces in May,” head coach Neal Brown said.

The Mountaineers only have a handful of open scholarships, but the focus is expected to be largely on the defensive backroom, at both cornerback and safety.

The program has already added Charlotte cornerback Dontez Fagan since the end of spring football and that helps. The graduate transfer comes after a season in which he recorded 21 tackles and an interception while posting strong coverage totals, but with Miller leaving at the end of spring training and Jacolby Spells’ spring injury, there is still a potential need there.

Spells will return early in the fall, but the Mountaineers will have to rely on their transfers and hope some of the younger players at the position prove ready to take some snaps.

Wide receiver is the offensive spot where West Virginia could use a boost as the program’s deep threat, Horton, disappears at the end of the spring. The Mountaineers could look at an additional speed option to replace what has been lost and even consider a bigger outside option.

The coaching staff has been actively looking at options there, as well as at tight end, where the program hosted a junior college target in Dodge City CC (Kan.) tight end Gregory Genros on an official visit. Genross spent two years at Dodge City, where he played a total of 17 games during that time, converting that into 26 catches for 265 yards and 3 touchdowns and earning all-conference honors.

West Virginia will also look to the defensive line for depth and a potentially experienced option who can move around.

Health was also a concern there, as Corey McIntyre suffered an injury that was considered serious in the spring and Asani Redwood was recovering from shoulder surgery. It remains to be seen if McIntyre will be available, but Redwood is expected in time for the fall, but adding another versatile and experienced piece up front will eliminate any major concerns there overall.

The end position that could at least be considered is a young pass rusher on the defensive end with several years left in his contract, and the same can be said about the offensive line. Those aren’t necessarily immediate priorities for next year, but would help tremendously moving forward.

West Virginia still has needs to fill, and the program has at least some leeway to meet them.