The transfer portal has changed the landscape of college athletics, and for West Virginia head coach Neal Brown, he expects it to continue to alter West Virginia’s roster.

Next week will be a week of change for West Virginia’s football program. The Mountaineers are already going to see some players graduate, but then will come the decision of other players to enter their name into the transfer portal. 

The NCAA approved more regulations for the transfer portal, including a window in which players can enter their names into the portal following the season. An exception to this is graduate transfers (like Charles Woods), who can enter their name into the portal at any time. 

“There’s a lot of things that have to be decided, but what we’ll do is you try to get in front of it,” Brown said of the looming transfer portal window opening. 

Brown said West Virginia’s coaching staff will meet with players next week to talk about their future, during the NCAA’s dead period prior to the window opening. 

“That dead is in there so you can have conversations with your players and so that’s our intention,” Brown said. “I think the dead period is very positive because you’re not by staying here and handling your players and having conversations with your players, one-on-one with your players, their families, you don’t feel like you’re missing out on any other part of recruiting because nobody else can do it.” 

Brown said he expects guys who West Virginia value and who performed well for the Mountaineers to be pursued by other schools and said that is the new reality of college football. 

“I’m quite sure that our best players, and the guys that we have put a premium on retaining, yeah, they’re going to have options. And I can get up here and gripe and complain about it but that’s the world we live in,” Brown said. 

In the meantime, Brown’s focus is on this upcoming Saturday in West Virginia’s game against Oklahoma State, saying his focus is on the Cowboys and they will deal with transfers when they happen. 

“We’ll deal with that when it happens. Whatever comes, we’ll deal with it head on, but right now it’s about Oklahoma State,” Brown said. “Next week’s a big week in a lot of different ways, but you can’t do anything about it. You finish and I think how you finish says a lot about who you are as an individual.”