Neal Brown is entering his first season as the coach of the West Virginia Mountaineers, and suddenly has a big gap in his defense. According to ESPN, junior safety Derrek Pitts -- a presumed starter -- and sophomore E.J. Brown entered their names into the transfer portal on Wednesday. This comes one day after starter Kenny Robinson also entered the portal.

If all three do bail on Brown prior to his first season in Morgantown, it'll be a big hit to a defense that needs all the help it can get. 

Robinson was a first-team All-Big 12 safety as a sophomore in 2018. He finished the season second on the Mountaineers with 77 tackles, led the team with four interceptions and broke up four passes. He had 46 tackles and a team-high three interceptions -- two of which were returned for touchdowns -- as a true freshman in 2017. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder out of Pittsburgh was a three-star prospect in the class of 2017.

Pitts was in line to start opposite Robinson on Brown's defense in 2019. He had 27 tackles, five tackles for loss and one interception as a sophomore in 2018. He also returned a blocked field goal 72 yards for a score in a loss to Iowa State. Pitts, a former three-star prospect in the class of 2017 from Charleston, West Virginia, took to Twitter to address a rumor regarding his departure. 

Brown, a former three-star safety from Stone Mountain, Georgia, assisted on just one tackles as a freshman last season.