VanDarius Cowan, the talented transfer from the University of Alabama, has been suspended for the first four games of the regular season, 247Sports has learned.
A source said the linebacker is sidelined by NCAA eligibility issues and will not play in games against James Madison, Missouri and North Carolina State in non-conference play and against Kansas to begin Big 12 competition. The Mountaineers are off the Saturday following the game against the Jayhawks, so Cowan's eligible to play his first game at home on Oct. 5 against Texas.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Cowan had been playing the bandit position for WVU in camp. He started off the spring as a middle linebacker and volunteered to move to the important pass rush position in the final week of the spring as the Mountaineers dealt with injuries there. Cowan stayed put during the summer and camp, but defensive end Quondarius Qualls moved to bandit late in camp and started to earn consistent and positive reviews for his play.
Qualls, who coach Neal Brown called the team's best natural pass rusher, junior Zach Sandwisch, senior Adam Hensley and true freshman Jared Bartlett are the team's other bandits.