Joseph Boletepeli didn’t enter the game on the Saturday that North Carolina State’s football team played West Virginia University in 2019. The next time he walks onto the field with the Mountaineers, it’ll be while wearing old gold and blue.
Boletepeli announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he was transferring from N.C. State to WVU. The rising redshirt sophomore defensive lineman played in 10 games over two seasons with the Wolfpack — three in 2018 and seven in 2019.
Last season, he finished with 11 tackles, 2½ for a loss and 1½ sacks in seven games as a backup. He did not participate versus WVU. His defensive coordinator for last season was a familiar face to Mountaineer fans — former WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson.
As the Wolfpack moved to the 3-3-5 stack defense that has been Gibson’s calling card, Boletepeli found himself at third on the depth chart at defensive end by the end of the season. He entered the transfer portal in January.
Boletepeli stands at 6-foot-4 and 262 pounds. He was a three-star recruit out of Heritage High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He was rated the No. 34 strong-side defensive end and No. 27 recruit in North Carolina according to 247Sports’ composite ratings. He chose N.C. State out of high school over Maryland and Michigan State.
It is unclear whether Boletepeli will sit out in 2020, though that could happen. According to 247Sports, he initially had three years to play three seasons.
Boletepeli would join a stacked WVU defensive line that includes both All-Big 12 first-teamer Dante Stills and All-Big 12 second-teamer Darius Stills. The Mountaineers also added several defensive linemen in the 2020 signing class.