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West Pooler Kansas St Football

West Virginia defensive lineman Jeffery Pooler Jr. (13) recorded three sacks among his 23 tackles in 2020. Pooler has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

West Virginia University football has yet another unexpected loss to its starting defensive lineup.

On Wednesday afternoon, senior defensive lineman Jeffery Pooler Jr. took to social media to announce his decision to enter the NCAA transfer portal.

Pooler took advantage of the NCAA’s offered extra year of eligibility after last season, but as it turns out, that extra season won’t come with the Mountaineers.

“I want to start off by saying how great Mountaineer nation has been to me,” Pooler said via online statement. “Since the day I committed here and I was told I have 1.8 million new fans now, you guys never showed me any different. I got my degree here, created memories I have to cherish for life and developed relationships here with some of the (closest) people to me.

“I’ve experienced some of the greatest games in college football and been (a part) of amazing teams during my time here. Nothing feels better than singing Country Roads after a win on Mountaineer Field. I wouldn’t change one thing about my time here and will always have love for this state and university,” Pooler continued.

“I want to thank (head) coach (Neal) Brown, (defensive coordinator Jordan) Lesley and the staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity, but after recent discussions with my family and much prayer, I’ve decided it’s best for me (to) finish out my career somewhere else. So I have decided to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal. The best is yet to come.”

Pooler becomes the third starter from the Mountaineer defense to transfer this offseason, joining spear Tykee Smith and cornerback Dreshun Miller, who have since landed at Georgia and Auburn, respectively.

Pooler appeared in 38 games over four seasons with the Mountaineers, making 52 tackles, with 23 of them coming last season. He also set career highs in sacks (three) and tackles for loss (six) in 2020.

Along with defensive lineman Darius Stills and linebacker Tony Fields, Pooler becomes the fifth lost starter off a Mountaineer defense that finished fourth nationally in total defense at 291.4 yards allowed per game.

Contact Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948 or ryan.pritt@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @RPritt.

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