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Asti: WVU Football Added Necessary Experience, Depth for Defense with Transfers



WVU Football DC Jordan Lesley

With so much focus on the 2023 WVU football team needing to rebuild so much of the offense, repairing the defense after a tough 2022 season was arguably just as important. And just like on offense, West Virginia brought in some notable transfers to add depth and fill voids on defense.

For the first time in a long time, the WVU defense won’t be led by a Stills brother. And while incumbent players like Sean Martin and Aubrey Burks are expected to step up into bigger roles, head coach Neal Brown and defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley knew the defense needed to add more if it was going to get back to form and allow the Mountaineers to be competitive as a team moving forward.

Most point to Devin Carter and Kole Taylor as transfers who will have the biggest impact on the Mountaineers in 2023, and they both will be heavily relied on, but it’s possible WVU’s best transfer addition came on defense. Defensive back Beanie Bishop could be that player, providing the West Virginia secondary with a veteran who brings major conference experience and vocal leadership, something players pointed out may have been an issue last season.

Asti: Transfer DB Beanie Bishop Will Boost WVU Football in Multiple Ways

Bishop was with the Golden Gophers for one season, totaling 29 tackles (20 solo), one sack and one pass breakup while playing in all 13 games. Prior to Minnesota, Bishop spent four years at Western Kentucky, playing in 36 career games. This means he knows what it’s like to be the star of a team and also be apart of a group in a major conference.

WVU hopes Bishop and transfer cornerbacks Anthony Wilson and Montre Miller can manage to create more turnovers too. An ability to constantly force turnovers hampered most of 2022. It meant once West Virginia lost momentum in a game, it was tough to get it back or hand their offense any extra opportunities with the ball. Teams that fail to generate turnovers generally struggle.

How Can the West Virginia Defense Force More Turnovers?

Despite Brown continually making it known his team was going to pursue immediate secondary help, the defensive line was also in need of players who could be ready to instantly play big minutes. Even with Stills part of the fold in 2022, teams would often win the battle of the trenches with West Virginia as they would simply double Stills and force someone else to carry the load.

Brown and Lesley knew they had to get bigger. That’s where Tyrin Bradley, Tomiwa Durojaiye and Davoan Hawkins come in.

Much like Bishop spending time in the Big Ten, Durojaiye offers credibility coming from an SEC school. But unlike the other transfers, he has four years of eligibility left and can be about more than just 2023. Listed at 6-foot-4 and 278 pounds, the Kentucky transfer has a strong bond with Lesley and is hungry to enjoy some individual success. The Middletown, Delaware native hasn’t been able to make an impact at the college level, but there’s plenty of reason to believe he has the ability to develop into a force as a Mountaineer. Durojaiye was actually classified as a three-star recruit in the 2022 class out of Middletown High School.

Bradley and Hawkins secure necessary depth. But Bradley brings more than just an extra body to the team, he has the experience of becoming an All-Conference player and a versatility to be able to fit into any role needed. His journey to go from reserve, to star at a small school, to now being part of the Big 12, makes Bradley an example to look up to for many of his new teammates at West Virginia.

Asti: Tyrin Bradley Adds Much More Than Just Depth to West Virginia Defense

This gives WVU another versatile player with the bonus of size, athleticism and maturity for a defense that’s been emphasizing perfecting the fundamentals throughout the offseason.

If nothing else, adding these defensive line transfers allows West Virginia to endure injuries. The Mountaineers will be able to know they have options if Martin or another starter would go down.


Take a look at every WVU transfer addition below.

Transfer Players Who Have Signed with West Virginia Football

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