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WVU Football Hopes Beanie Bishop Shows Sky is Limit for Transfer Defensive Backs



WVU Football Defense Jared Bartlett and Beanie Bishop

When West Virginia added Beanie Bishop last spring, no one knew the impact he would have on the 2023 season. Of course, the WVU football coaching staff may have hoped he would be an instant key contributor, but no one predicted he would become a consensus All-American. Fast forward to the present day, and while Bishop is pursing the NFL, the Mountaineers are able to use his success aa a recruiting chip in pursuing other defensive backs.

The plan to add as much help as possible to the secondary earned a significant boost this week when two teammates from Northwestern decided to both continue their careers in Morgantown. A day after his teammate Jaheem Joseph announced his commitment, Garnett Hollis Jr. followed with a reveal of his own. Like Joseph, Hollis’ commitment came soon after receiving an offer.

While they both are defensive backs, they will likely be used in two different ways. Hollis is the better overall player and the more physical of the two with a knack for finding the ball carrier, but Joseph could fill more of one big void left by Bishop – a ballhawk keen for making plays in big games.

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After making four starts and appearing in eight games as a junior in 2022, Hollis played in all 13 games for the Wildcats in 2023 and recorded an interception and three pass deflections. He also made 49 total tackles, including 3.5 for a loss.

Joseph, a Florida native and Pace High School product, totaled 24 tackles, three interceptions and one pass breakup in 13 games during the 2023 season. Joseph ended his career with the Wildcats in style. He intercepted two passes in their bowl win over Utah.

The Mountaineers are always on the hunt for secondary help, but are especially in need this offseason based on the loss of Bishop. Bishops’s success in 2023 is something the WVU coaches have been open about using when making pitches to transfer players, most notably defensive backs. Hollis and Joseph, like Bishop before them, are making the jump from the Big Ten to the Big 12.

It’s obviously unreasonable to expect every transfer defensive back, especially the ones coming from another major conference, to mirror the success of Bishop. But with that said, the fact Bishop was able to reach a new level as a Mountaineer is a nice feather in the cap for the coaches and shows what can be possible. West Virginia now hopes history repeats itself with the latest additions.

Click here for the rest of WV Sports Now’s coverage of WVU football recruiting.

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