With a relatively recent rule that allows players to compete in four or fewer games without using a year of eligibility, we’ve seen some players elect to sit out after a few games. The most famous example is Houston quarterback D’Eriq King, who, after transfer rumors emerged, said that he intends to return and play for a better Cougars team in 2020. Ahead of Saturday’s game against Texas, West Virginia’s JoVanni Stewart appears set to take advantage of the rule change.
Stewart is a senior safety out of Katy, Texas. He has 10 tackles and two pass deflections on the year.
Entering the year, he played 37 games across the last three seasons, picking up 50 total tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, and four sacks.
Now, with the decision to sit out for Saturday’s home game against Texas, it appears that he is set to take off the rest of the season and transfer, preserving his fourth year of eligibility.
As first reported by 247Sports‘ Mike Casazza:
Senior JoVanni Stewart, who has started all four games as the team’s spear this season and started the final 11 games as the Sam linebacker in 2018, will not play in Saturday’s game and may be finished playing for the Mountaineers this season and beyond, sources told 247Sports Thursday.
According to a team source, Stewart will not play against No. 11 Texas due to personal reasons, and individuals familiar with the decision say Stewart is leaning toward using his redshirt this season and moving on as a postgraduate transfer afterward.
This type of decision could become more popular, especially in situations like Stewart’s.
As a graduate, he’ll be allowed to step right in at a new program. He is also dealing with a coaching change, as Dana Holgorsen elected to leave West Virginia for Houston in the off-season, with Neal Brown taking over the Mountaineers.
This year was supposed to be a rebuild for WVU. The team is off to a better start than many would have guessed, at 3-1 with a win over ACC foe NC State. It may not get a lot better from here, with Kansas in the rearview, and Big 12 play upon us.