Louisiana Speedster Picks Mountaineers

It wasn't one of the three players that Mountaineer fans had their eyes on today, but West Virginia nonetheless got a commitment from an outstanding high school player on Monday.

Lafayette's Tyler Benoit a speedy offensive threat at both running back and wide receiver, and he has made West Virginia his college choice.

"West Virginia impressed me. I'd like to play early, and they are losing one of their running backs and some wide receivers. I think I'm better on offense, but if they need help on defense I'm willing to play there too."

Benoit was a good enough defender that he began the season playing cornerback exclusively, and didn't move back to running back until district competition. Although Benoit said that he had "just an all right" senior season, he still managed to rush for more than 800 yards in just six district contests.

"I was playing cornerback before, and I had three games that I didn't play tailback at all," the lightning fast Louisianian noted.

Benoit, who also rushed for 960 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior, is also a standout track performer, recording personal bests of 21.50 in the 200 meter dash and 10.44 in the 100.

Louisiana is the recruiting area of Mountaineer assistant coach Calvin Magee, who impressed Benoit with his interest.

"Coach Magee is a really cool dude. He was willing to help me even if I didn't go to WVU. He was willing to help me and look out for me no matter where I went, and wanted to make sure that if I didn't go to WVU, that I would get into college somewhere.

Benoit noted that he has never been to West Virginia, but will rectify that with his official visit this coming weekend. And even though he hasn't seen the Mountaineer campus, he felt so comfortable with Magee and the other Mountaineer coaches that he had no problem making his commitment. He chose West Virginia over Florida State, who he said had also offered a scholarship.

One of Benoit's biggest attributes is obviously his speed, but he thinks he can become even quicker.

"I'm fast, but I can work on my speed," he noted. "I can also work on my pass routes and my hands. In high school I was all handoffs and pitches, were were an otion team. So I know I cna work on those things.

Benoit has not yet qualified, but will take tests again next month while also trying to raise his GPA. However, if he doesn't qualify, Benoit "will still stay solid with West Virginia."

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