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What will the WVU wide receiver room look like in 2022?

With the new departure of Sean Ryan, there are now certainly a lot of question marks surrounding the wide receiver position for West Virginia in 2022.

On Wednesday, it was announced West Virginia wide receiver Sean Ryan will be transferring for his final year of eligibility. Ryan joins Isaiah Esdale and Winston Wright as the trio all played significant roles this season and are now looking for a new college home.

The question then comes into play — who will West Virginia have to throw the ball to next season?

Ryan, Esdale and Wright, combined for 1,449 yards and nine touchdowns, while also accounting for 40.3% of West Virginia’s receptions this season. The Mountaineers now head into the offseason trying to find answers to who will be able to elevate this offense next season.

The obvious answers are to look to Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Kaden Prather. Ford-Wheaton was a redshirt-juinior this past season and had 42 catches for 575 yards and three touchdowns. Against Iowa State, Ford-Wheaton had quite the performance, finishing with 106 yards and two touchdowns on six receptions. Prather, a true freshman this past season is looking to build on a strong second half of 2021. Prather came on heavy in the latter part of the season, finishing with nine catches for 129 yards over the last three regular season games.

Sam James is also another contender to step up as he had 42 receptions for 505 yards and five touchdowns this season. Between James, Ford-Wheaton and Prather, those three look to be the top three wide receivers heading into spring ball.

Another option will be to turn to the incoming recruiting class which features two outside threats. The first is Jeremiah Aaron, a transfer from Navarro Community College, had 911 yards and eight touchdowns in 10 games this season.

Another incoming recruit in this recruiting class is Jarel Williams. Williams is from Saraland, Alabama, where he attended Saraland high school. This past season Williams had 51 receptions for 742 yards and 12 touchdowns.

On West Virginia’s roster the Mountaineers still have Reese Smith, Preston Fox, Graeson Malashevich and C.J. Cole. Whether the Mountaineers turn to the transfer portal, or look from within, there will certainly be some big shoes to fill come fall of 2022.

Photo by Ethan Bock

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