West Virginia Football: 3 most important newcomers for 2021 season

Neal Brown, West Virginia football (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Neal Brown, West Virginia football (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images) /
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After winning its bowl, West Virginia football entered the offseason with climbing expectations. These newcomers should provide immediate assistance.

A record of 5-7 was tolerable for head coach Neal Brown’s first season at West Virginia, but improvement across the board was apparent during his follow-up campaign in 2020. Behind a strong run game and a steady, reliable defense, the Mountaineers pieced together a 6-4 season capped off by a come-from-behind bowl game victory.

You might be thinking, “Two games over .500? Big deal!” But the Mountaineers finally won a bowl game — their first since the 2015 season. And they snapped their three-game postseason skid. Just as important, though, Brown improved to a perfect 4-0 in bowl games.

Brown won his first bowl game at West Virginia, just like his predecessor, Dana Holgorsen. But what will the rest of his time in Morgantown look like? Holgorsen pushed the Mountaineers to seven bowl games in eight seasons, but walked away victorious just twice. Brown’s immediate leash might be longer due to the circumstances, but winning seasons at WVU are a must for job security. How quickly will Mountaineer fans see results?

Will West Virginia build on their bowl victory under Brown and climb to new heights? They’ll need current stars to remain just that — stars. The transfer portal has been like a revolving door, though, with players both coming and going through the West Virginia football program. Despite some key departures all over the roster, newcomers will be asked to chip in and contribute on the fly. We’ve got a few names for you to keep an eye on.