MORGANTOWN — Add two more names to the list of West Virginia University football players planning to transfer.
Sophomore wide receiver Ricky Johns is entering the transfer portal, as first reported Monday by 247Sports, and during his Tuesday press conference WVU coach Neal Brown added the other name to that list — redshirt junior quarterback Jack Allison.
“Jack has made the decision to enter the transfer portal,” Brown said. “Jack graduates in December. I love Jack and he has been a great teammate here. He wants to go play and I support that.”
Allison came to West Virginia after starting his collegiate career at the University of Miami. He came to the Hurricanes as a four-star recruit but left after one season in Coral Gables in search of a landing spot where he thought he could play. That, of course, turned out to be Morgantown.
Upon his arrival in West Virginia, however, Allison had a hard time getting on the field. He sat out the 2017 as a transfer then backed up Will Grier in 2018. After Neal Brown’s arrival as WVU’s new head coach in January of this year, Allison and incoming transfer Austin Kendall battled for the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback job through the spring and into fall camp. Kendall was named the starter, and Allison saw action in two games this season.
Against Missouri, Allison threw two passes — the second of which was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Brown pulled Allison from that game immediately.
Then Kendall got hurt last month early in a home game against Iowa State, opening the door for Allison to play most of the contest against the visiting Cyclones. He finished that game completing 18 of 24 pass attempts for 140 yards, one touchdown and one interception. For his career with the Mountaineers, Allison completed 42 of 71 passes for 494 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
With Allison leaving the team to focus on school for the remainder of the semester, redshirt freshman Trey Lowe and Bowling Green transfer Jarret Doege will compete for West Virginia’s newly vacant backup quarterback job behind Kendall.
“We’re looking at our quarterback position like we are all our positions on offense — we have to get better,” Brown said. “I’m not necessarily going to broadcast what our plans are, because that won’t do anything but help Texas Tech, but we will have some plans to use those other two guys if needed.”MOUNTAINEERS ON THE MEND: After Brown told the media about Allison’s plan to transfer, he began listing all the West Virginia players who are injured and what their status is for Saturday’s game against Texas Tech (Noon on ESPN2).
It took him awhile.
Brown rattled off 10 names of players who are currently battling or coming back from an injury.
Senior linebacker Quondarius Qualls had surgery Tuesday and will miss the rest of the season. Qualls, who has 22 tackles and two sacks this season, is a fifth-year senior and would need a waiver from the NCAA to get another year of eligibility.
Running back Kennedy McKoy and safety Noah Guzman both left last week’s loss at Baylor with possible concussions, and Brown said both would be “questionable” this week against the Red Raiders. The same goes for linebacker Josh Chandler, who was hurt in the loss at Oklahoma, and placekicker Evan Staley, who did not play last week at Baylor.
Receiver T.J. Simmons was hurt during the Baylor game and remains “doubtful” this week with an undisclosed injury. Receiver Sean Ryan will miss his fourth consecutive game. Starting guard Chase Behrndt was another Mountaineer hurt against Baylor and listed as questionable this week, but Brown did at least seem somewhat optomisitic he could get in the game against Texas Tech.
Tight end Jovani Haskins was unable to play against the Bears last week with a core injury but is expected back this week, and transfer cornerback Dreshun Miller is improving, but not ready to play yet according to Brown.