Home Grown

Despite growing up in Morgantown, redshirt freshman linebacker Tyler Anderson almost didn't end up at West Virginia University although it seemed like an obvious choice for the university city native. Anderson originally committed to Bowling Green and had interest from Akron before deciding to stay home and attend WVU.

After some considerations, however, Anderson decided to pass on the offer from the MAC school to attend his home state's flagship institution.

"I've always been around the university and known people who went to WVU and played football," said Anderson. "I just felt like this was my place to be. This is where I wanted to be. Me being a pretty good athlete, I felt like I could come here and play with this defense and accomplish stuff. I need to impress the coaches. I feel like I'm doing a good job right now but there's always more I can do."

Despite having a standout spring, Anderson admits that he is still working to the logistics of the Mountaineer defense. He noted that there's not much from the system that he played in at Morgantown High School that has translated onto the field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

"In high school, it was a completely different defense," said Anderson. "I played outside linebacker. Learning what our offense does [here] is pretty much just learning where the defense is. It's all the same responsibilities: playing down hill, making tackles. [I need to] just learn the defense. The physical part will come. It's just learning what I'm doing so I can feel more comfortable when I go out there. I don't have to think about what I'm doing I can just go out and react."

Although Anderson is learning a completely new system, he admits that some things, like coaching styles, haven't changed during his transition from high school to college ball.

"My high school coaches were the same way [as the coaches here]," said Anderson. "All coaches are going to scream at you if you do something wrong. You just have to learn to not take it to the head and learn from it. Everyone is going to yell at you. You just can't take it personally."

Although he hasn't made his on-field debut as a Mountaineer yet, Anderson is familiar with playing on the field turf at the stadium. Morgantown and University High Schools held their annual Mohawk Bowl games their during his career.

"My sophomore year playing here with Charlie Russell and Junius Lewis when the coaches gave me the opportunity to play at defensive end," said Anderson of his best memory of the facility to date . "Playing on this field was amazing."

Despite his memories on Mountaineer field, Anderson is anxiously awaiting his first time hitting the field in a gold and blue uniform, which he anticipates will quickly vault to the top of hi personal highlight list.

"I can't wait to do that," said Anderson. "It's going to be ridiculous. When I make my first play, it will be exciting."

While many freshmen leave spring practice with their heads spinning, Anderson seems to grasp what he needs to accomplish during the limited amount of time allowed for practices, which has likely translated to his success this spring.

"You just have to be a player," said Anderson. "You have to be an athlete. I just have to come out here and try to be me."


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