Talent on Display

The speed and quickness displayed at Saturday's combine by an underclassman cemented an early offer from WVU.

When Victor Anderson of St. Xavier High School blazed through a pair of 40s in 4.41 and 4.40 seconds, it served to show that the early scholarship offer the Mountaineer coaching staff has made to the rising junior star was a wise move. Anderson, who racked up 151 yards and three TDs to help lead his school to the Kentucky Class 4A championship game, was in town for an unofficial visit and liked what he saw.

"When I went up on Friday night, I loved the campus," Anderson said. "The coaches were all nice, and they talked about how they are family up there. Coach Magee is really good. He showed me the highlight film, and I loved it."

The Mountaineer staff was sufficiently impressed with Anderson's work as a sophomore, when he rushed 139 times for 1039 yards and 27 touchdowns, to offer him an early scholarship. Anderson is one of a handful of rising juniors who already have offers from WVU, even before they have received one commitment from a senior for the Class of 2006. Such is the way in recruiting these days, as prospective players are identified earlier and earlier.

"They did offer me a scholarship," Anderson confirmed. "I was tempted to accept it right there, but I need to think about it a little bit. I had a hard time not accepting, but I do have strong feeling about going to West Virginia."

Anderson's feelings are strong enough that he has cancelled visits to other camps and combines this summer. And while he admits he still has interest in some other schools, he has WVU firmly atop his list.

"I am going to try to get back up there this summer, but if I don't, I will come to several games this fall," the shifty running back said. "I am interested in Michigan and Auburn, and maybe some west coast schools, but I have a strong feeling about West Virginia.

"The coaches are so nice and friendly there," he continued. "Coach Rodriguez told me that's how it is up there, and how everything is with the program. I just loved it."

Anderson has a tie to West Virginia in the form of his godmother, who hails from Charleston, and who initially ignited his interest in WVU. Once he got connected with the Mountaineer coaches and sent in his game film, it didn't take long for the WVU staff to reciprocate that interest.

Despite splitting time in St. Xavier's backfield last year, Anderson averaged 7.5 yards per carry and scored once every five times he touched the ball. Anderson's highlight tape of his championship performance shows a nifty runner that smoothly skips past would-be tacklers for extra yardage, but also a surprisingly strong one that finishes off carries with authority. At 5-9 and 175 pounds, he's not the biggest back around, but that certainly hasn't affected his play to date.

Anderson also is a threat out of the backfield. He had 13 catches for 245 yards and three scores last year, and possesses soft hands that cradle the ball quickly on pass patterns.

While the recruiting game has already begun to heat up for him, Anderson still has two more seasons of high school ball to go. He's eyeing a starting spot in the backfield this year, but hasn't set any goals for himself yet.

"Right now, it just depends on the carries I get," Anderson said as he contemplated his possible yardage totals for 2005. "I just want to get as much as I can every time I touch the ball."

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