By Mickey Furfari
For The Register-Herald
Tyler Anderson, a homegrown defensive standout, will be entering West Virginia’s fall football camp as the No. 1 defensive end.
The 6-foot-2, 244-pound redshirt junior who was two-time all-state at Morgantown High played in all 13 games as a Mountaineer linebacker in 2011.
Depending on WVU’s opponent on a particular day, he also could line up at the linebacker position.
He was credited with making nine solo tackles and eight assists last season. Four were tackles for 9-yard losses.
“It’s hard to tell where I’ll line up,” Anderson said last week. “I just want to play where they want me to be.
“We’ve got guys who played a lot on the defensive line in the past, maybe as many as 25. We’ve got to play as a whole unit this year.”
Like his teammates, Anderson is very excited that the Mountaineers are competing in the Big 12 for the first time.
“But to win games, we’re going to have to swarm onto the football (defensively),” he shared. “It’s our job to get the ball for the offense.”
With quarterback Geno Smith, West Virginia is expected to be one of the nation’s most explosive offenses. He is the Big 12’s preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
Anderson suggested, “No one individual will need to play the whole game. We’ve got guys who can rotate in every game if necessary.
“Everybody knows his role and what he’s supposed to do. When one guy gets tired, someone can take his place.”
Anderson, who also saw action as a tight end at Morgantown High, believes WVU’s defense must step up a lot more this season.
He foresees quite a jump from winning the Big East championship last year.
“Going into the Big 12 will be a lot tougher,” Anderson said. “But we’re going to be great on the offense again.
“We feel the defense will be ready to do our jobs in support again.”
He noted that the new defensive coaching staff has transitioned well with the players, thanks to last spring’s 15 days of practice.
Meantime, WVU players are expected to take some time off to visit family and friends. Then the Mountaineers will reassemble for fall camp.