West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen confirmed the news on Monday that redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Saunders is retiring from football due to a medical issue.
Saunders came to WVU as a 3-star member of the 2016 class out of Panama City Beach, FL. He redshirted last season as a true freshman behind quarterback Skyler Howard.
For 2017, Saunders was expected to compete for the backup role behind Florida transfer Will Grier; as the Mountaineers only have four quarterbacks on the roster. Now back up duties will fall to Chris Chugunov, a redshirt sophomore, and David Isreal, a 2017 transfer out of Butler Community College.
More help may be on the way as well. According to the Bradenton Herald, Miami QB Jack Allison has narrowed his transfer decision to two schools: West Virginia and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Allison was a 4-star member of the Hurricane’s 2016 class.
Those two school aren’t exactly on the same field so to speak, but if Allison does go the community college route, it would be for one reason. If he transfers to WVU, he will have to sit out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules. Which means, even if he does choose the Mountaineers, he will not provide any depth this season.
There is no word on how serious Saunders’ medical condition is or if it will affect him beyond not being able to play football, but he is expected to stay at West Virginia under a medical hardship waiver to get his degree.