Good news, West Virginia! You improved 14 places in the FBS yards-per-play allowed rankings from 2012 to 2013. Bad news, West Virginia: that was still only good for 92nd, and in the meantime your offense went from 13th to 69th.
So, yes, it's safe to say Dana Holgorsen could use some defensive reinforcements as he heads into what might be a make-or-break season. Which brings us back to the good news: the Mountaineers announced Friday that FCS All-American defensive end Shaquille Riddick will transfer to West Virginia for the 2014 season.
Riddick's 19 tackles-for-loss in his 2013 junior season for Gardner-Webb placed him second in the FCS, his 8.5 sacks good for 19th. He is currently the No. 12-ranked defensive end in the 2015 draft class, according to NFLDraftScout.com.
Riddick has one season of eligibility remaining and is eligible to play in 2014 as a graduatre transfer.
From his Twitter feed:
Analysis from EerSports.com:
Riddick will come into Morgantown in August, and despite his late arrival, will be playing starter's snaps by week three. He is a long and strong prospect who can use his reach to keep offensive tackles off his body, and is strong enough to shed them when it's time to tackle the runner or make a move on the quarterback...
He's got great speed for a 6-foot-6, 240+-pounder, able to run down most quarterbacks from behind, and even some running backs. He never gives up on a play, and even when the ball is run or thrown to the other side, Riddick can be found in a full sprint, looking to make a play from behind.
He is extremely talented. He may be the best defensive lineman the moment he steps into Morgantown - which is saying a lot, considering my known man crush for Kyle Rose.
The Mountaineers are still the same program that went 4-8 in 2013 and lost to Kansas, so one player, quite obviously, isn't going to solve everything. But adding one with as much proven talent as Riddick is quite a start all the same.