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Football: Who Should Have Their Numbers Retired At WVU?

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin pulled no punches in who he believes should have their numbers retired at West Virginia University last Sunday.


Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin pulled no punches in who he believes should have their numbers retired at West Virginia University last Sunday. To date, Ira Errett Rodger's No. 21 and Sam Huff's No. 75 are the only numbers retired by the West Virginia football program, which were honored prior to the 2005 edition of the Backyard Brawl.

Here's the six numbers the Super Bowl champion believes West Virginia should take out of circulation for future Mountaineer football teams:

While these six are some of the best to play for football in Morgantown, West Virginia's policy on retired numbers would eliminate all but one of the players listed by Irvin. First, the player's jersey would have to be retired before a number retirement is even brought up, according to the rules set by West Virginia.

To have a player jersey retired, a player would have to graduate from West Virginia, play the maximum number of years eligible by the NCAA, be selected as a consensus All-American or two-time First Team All-American or MVP of a national championship team and be respected individual on campus and in the community.

West Virginia isn't very strict with their rules about who gets their jersey retired, huh?

As for Irvin's list of players, all great in their respective time playing for West Virginia, only Tavon Austin meets all of the requirements in having their jersey retired and to then be eligible to have their number retired by the university. Irvin, Stedman Bailey, Pat White and Geno Smith each weren't selected as a consensus or first team All-American twice, while Steve Slaton didn't play his senior season, keeping those players from having their jerseys or numbers retired at West Virginia.

It might seem like a hard road to get a jersey and number retired at West Virginia, but there are several former players other than Austin that could be up for both honors.

Linebackers Grant Wiley and Darryl Talley should be locks after being selected as consensus All-Americans in 1983 and 2003, as well as sitting No. 1 and No. 2 on West Virginia's career tackle leaders with a combined 975 between the two. Danny Buggs, a back-to-back first team All-American selection in 1973 and 1974, was one of the best receivers of his time for West Virginia, and could be great example of how far football has come since his time and that of Austin.

Rounding out the potential candidates, tackle Brian Jozwiak and center Dan Mozes, consensus All-Americans in 1985 and 2006, protected and cleared the way through opposing defenses for some of the best players in program's history.

With so many great athletes coming through the football program and other varsity sports each year, West Virginia is right in having such strict standards in the process of honoring a player's accomplishments during their collegiate careers.

The standards allow the university to showcase the very best players that shined brightest in the Old Gold and Blue.

This post was first published on, where you can find news about your favorite former Mountaineers and a mix of current WVU athletics.