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April 22, 2014

Holgorsen Talks Transfers & Playoff

Over the past year, West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen has brought big name transfers like Charles Sims, Clint Trickett and Rushel Shell to Morgantown.

Two of the three, Sims and Trickett played vital roles for West Virginia during the 2013 season. Sims led WVU in rushing with 1,095 yards and 11 touchdowns en route to garnering the Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year along with first team All-Conference Accolades.

Trickett played in eight games at quarterback for the Mountaineers and threw seven touchdown passes.

"The four-year transfers to me, has been increasing as well especially the graduating thing. I don't know if the NCAA is going to address it or not," said Holgorsen during the Big 12 Coaches' Teleconference Tuesday. "But, being able to get four-year guys that don't have any issues at their current school or where they graduate from, (their) grades are fine and can become immediately eligible is something that is interesting to a lot of coaches out there."

Sims and Trickett were both in that situation, where they finished their undergrad at Houston and Florida State respectively before coming to West Virginia for grad school.

As Sims preps for the NFL, it is clear transfers can benefit both the program and the player.

"It worked out great for him, he knew what he was getting with me so it made sense for him to come," Holgorsen said. "His ultimate goal was to be able to play in the Big 12. He came here, adjusted quickly, and was able to showcase his skills at the highest level possible."

Holgorsen, in 2011, allowed receiver Devon Brown to transfer in from Wake Forest. Brown caught 29 passes and finished as the teams' fourth-leading receiver behind Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Ivan McCartney.

Where Holgorsen isn't as fluid in taking transfers is when guys who have to sit out a year to wait to be eligible. Holgorsen believes only if there is a natural fit, it'll benefit both parties.

"We don't take too many transfers, I think the situation where a guy wants to come a little closer back to home and if they're talent level is good enough, is good," Holgorsen said. "We got a good one in Rushel Shell who transferred down from Pitt, was a Pittsburgh kid who needed to get away from home just a little bit. It was close enough to home for him where it made sense. He's going to be a good player for us."

Shell practiced as a scout team player in 2013, but is expected be WVU's number two or three running back after a great spring.

College Football Playoff Addressed
Amongst other issues Holgorsen addressed during the teleconference was the new College Football Playoff.

He is excited for the new era to begin, but still wants some questions to be answered when he travels to Phoenix next month for the Big 12 meetings.

"They want to continue to treat it like a bowl game, which is great, but I would have a hard time having a five or six day bowl game as semi-final game," said Holgorsen. "Then turning around to have to go home for a couple days before turning it around and doing it all over again for the title game."

Most coaches probably have the same issue, especially since there is so much lag in time between the regular season finale and the bowl game, but less than a quarter of that time to prep for what would be the National Championship Game.

"Usually from my experience with bowl games being in them the last 14 of 15 years, is that you're pretty tired once that bowl game is over," Holgorsen added. "You're team is tired as well, so just being able to make sure you're able to regroup and put your best foot forward in the championship game."

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