Highly recruited freshman QB mulling departure from WVU

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Highly recruited true freshman quarterback Jeremy Johnson, going through his first preseason camp with the West Virginia University Mountaineers, has expressed that he is having thoughts about leaving the team.

Mountaineers coach Bill Stewart cited Johnson's homesickness -- he's from Texas -- as a reason for a possible departure.

Johnson, who did not practice today with the team, will make a final decision within the next few days, although there is no indication to which school he may possibly transfer.

Johnson, from Kountze, Texas -- in the far eastern portion of the state near Beaumont -- is battling for the backup job with the Mountaineers with fellow-true freshman Barry Brunetti, who is from Memphis.

Geno Smith, a sophomore from Florida, has solidified the starting role.

Johnson was recruited by Baylor, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, TCU, Missouri and Oklahoma State as a senior in high school. Along with West Virginia, he made visits to Baylor, Oklahoma TCU and Texas during the recruiting process.

If Johnson were to leave, West Virginia isn't in much of a quandary, as the natural progression will be Smith as the top guy, with Brunetti as the primary backup.

What would most likely happen after the two-deep is that Coley White, a redshirt sophomore who had been shifted from quarterback to a slot receiver, would then spend time practicing at both positions and be the No. 3 quarterback.

Colin Dunlap: cdunlap@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1459.


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