MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WV News) — Another day, another West Virginia player says goodbye.
This time it's in football as defensive end Jeffery Pooler, an experienced player, a third starter from the defense, announced on Twitter that he is entering the transfer portal.
The way that's going there may wind up with more players across the country in the portal than not, last year's cycle having included almost 2,000 players.
WVU has been hit hard. Tykee Smith, a safety and probably their best defender, transferred to Georgia after starting cornerback Dreshun Miller entered the portal and transferred to Auburn.
Now Pooler is going, although if you read his goodbye message, you have to wonder why.
“Dear Mountaineer Nation, I want to start off by saying how great Mountaineer nation has been to me,” Pooler said on Twitter. “Since the day I committed here and I was told I have 1.8 million new fans now. You guys never showed me any different. I got my degree here, created memories I have to cherish for life and developed relationships here with some of the closest people to me. I’ve experienced some of the greatest games in college football and been a part of amazing teams during my time here. Nothing feels better than singing Country Roads after a win on Mountaineer Field. I wouldn’t change one thing about my time here and will always have love for this state and university."
Read that again. He says he "wouldn't change one thing" .... except that he's leaving school here and going elsewhere.
“I want to thank coach Brown, coach Lesley and the staff for believing in me and giving me the opportunity. But after recent discussions with my family and much prayer, I’ve decided it’s best for me to finish out my career somewhere else. So I have decided to enter the NCAA transfer portal. The best is yet to come.”
Pooler was expected to share the position with Taijh Alston, who missed most of the past two seasons with injuries but who now is healthy and played well in the spring game.
Still, Pooler hurts the depth on the offensive line, which is one of the most potent units the Mountaineers have with Dante Stills at tackle and Akheem Mesidor at nose guard, backed up by Jordan Jefferson.
Pooler had 26 tackles last year, 5.5 for a loss, with 2.5 sacks and three pass deflections.