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WVU Loses Linebacker to Transfer Portal

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Former Alabama linebacker VanDarius Cowan is on the move again. He was recruited to the Crimson Tide in 2017, but after playing in seven games, he opted to spend the remainder of his college career in the Mountain State playing for a combination of head coaches Dana Holgorsen and Neal Brown.

He arrived on campus in the summer of 2018 and adhered to NCAA transfer protocol. When he returned to play in 2019, under the Brown era, he saw the field in two games and registered three solo tackles, a TFL, and a sack. Then, he sustained a season-ending knee injury against Iowa State.

Returning during the COVID season, now as a redshirt junior, Cowan’s injury history crept back up. He played in the first two games before another knee injury sidelined him for the majority of the season. He returned for games nine and 10, and finished the abbreviated season with 17 tackles, two sacks, 4.5 TFLs, and a forced fumble.

2021 saw him get snaps in 10 games, amassing 15 tackles and a sack before his targeting ejection during the Kansas State game. Speculation and whispers of his potential exodus from the WVU program began when he didn’t play in the Texas win and was noticeably absent when the team traveled to Lawrence last week.

His BANDIT spot has been a point of contention when it comes to starters; Cowan, Jared Bartlett, Akheem Mesidor, and LaNell Carr have all gotten starts there this season. Bartlett is the incumbent now that Cowan is no longer with the program, but defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley doesn’t seem set on the utility linebacker spot quite yet. This effectively throws a wrench into the depth at that position.

Cowan will have one year of eligibility left to use elsewhere.

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