The reason for Andrew Buie's glaring absence from the West Virginia depth chart came into focus Tuesday, with Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen announcing that the junior running back would redshirt this season.
"He's got to develop mentally and physically," Holgorsen said at a press conference. "We're going to leave it at that."
Buie rushed for a team-high 851 yards last season, including 207 yards and two touchdowns at Texas, but saw his role dramatically reduced after All-America wide receiver Tavon Austin was moved into the backfield.
This season, versatile Houston transfer Charles Sims won the starting spot, with true freshman Wendell Smallwood, junior-college transfer Dreamius Smith and junior Dustin Garrison listed as backups.
And while Buie would seem to be a potential transfer candidate, Holgorsen sees the 5-foot-9, 190-pound back in the program's future plans.
"I fully expect him to be ready in the spring," Holgorsen said. "He had to make some decisions. Did we force him to redshirt? No. He just felt like it was in the best interest for him and in the best interest for the program to save his year."