WVU football picks up pair of major-college transfers

By Staff report
AP photo
Alabama wide receiver T.J. Simmons announced Sunday morning on Twitter that he will transfer to West Virginia.
AP photo
Tight end Jovani Haskins is the second former Miami Hurricane to transfer to WVU this month.

The West Virginia University football team picked up a pair of transfers from high-profile Football Bowl Subdivision schools over the weekend, one from the University of Miami and one from Alabama.

Crimson Tide wide receiver T.J. Simmons announced Sunday morning on Twitter that he would transfer to WVU, which followed former University of Miami tight end Jovani Haskins’ announcement that he was headed to the Mountaineers earlier in the weekend.

The two must sit out the 2017 season per NCAA transfer rules.

Simmons, a three-star recruit from Pinson, Alabama who played at Clay-Chalkville High, appeared in 12 games for the Crimson Tide in 2016, mostly on special teams. He was ranked the No. 58 receiver in the country out of high school, according to recruiting site 247Sports.

“Words are not enough to explain how thankful I am for having the opportunity to play for the University of Alabama,” Simmons posted on Twitter. “However, I am blessed to announce that I will be transferring to continue my football career at West Virginia University.”

Simmons was an early enrollee at Alabama. He caught six passes for 82 yards and a touchdown in the Tide’s 2017 spring game.

Haskins spent the 2016 season with the Hurricanes as a redshirt.

“WVU is my new home,” he wrote, “and I can’t wait to perform in front of the fans of @WestVirginiaU.”

Haskins was a three-star recruit and the No. 18 tight end prospect in the country out of Bergenfield (New Jersey) High School, according to 247Sports. He was one of seven UM players suspended for the team’s Russell Athletic Bowl game versus WVU for “failing to meet the standards of expectations set by the program.”

Miami coach Mark Richt announced earlier this month that Haskins and the Hurricanes would part ways.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Haskins held an offer from WVU and made an official visit to campus before signing with the Hurricanes. He is the second former Hurricane to transfer to West Virginia this month. Quarterback Jack Allison announced June 13 that he would be headed to Morgantown. Allison also was a 2016 redshirt.

The Mountaineers have just one returning letterman at tight end, redshirt junior Trevon Wesco. West Virginia also has two tight end verbal commitments for the 2018 signing class, Illinois prospects Mike O’Laughlin and T.J. Ivy.

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