MORGANTOWN - The ink was barely dry on West Virginia's preseason depth chart before the defensive coaches made what might end up being a fairly significant change.
Shaq Petteway, a linebacker in high school who was moved to safety as a true freshman last year and played right away, is a linebacker again.
And he's not one of those hybrid safety-linebackers in the Mountaineers' new 3-4 scheme, either. He's a true linebacker now, playing one of the two inside spots, the Sam.
Keith Patterson and Steve Dunlap, who coach the team's linebackers, gave Petteway a fairly simple explanation for the move.
"They just said they thought I was too good a player to sit behind Terence Garvin,'' Petteway said.
And that's where Petteway was. Garvin, Petteway and Wes Tonkery, all strong safeties last season in WVU's 3-3-5, were made into Star linebackers in the 3-4. That's one of the two outside spots and the one most likely to morph into pass coverage.
Petteway never got the chance to compete there, though, because by Thursday's first practice he had been moved.
"They told me it was a move that's going to help me get on the field,'' Petteway said. "So I was all for it.''
While the coaches had hinted that a move might be possible, it wasn't until Wednesday when the players reported for August camp that Petteway was actually moved from the Star to the Sam. Doug Rigg is listed as the starter there.
"I kind of knew during the summer because the strength coaches wanted me to put on some weight,'' said Petteway, who was listed at 6-foot, 200 pounds at the end of last season, 222 pounds on the August roster and says he's actually at about 228. "The reason they gave was because they wanted me to be able to play both inside and outside, so when they told me [Wednesday], I was kind of like, 'OK, it's official.' ''
Petteway not only put on the extra weight in case a move happened, he also studied the inside linebackers during film sessions, "so I wouldn't be lost.''
A good move? Well, for Petteway, only time will tell.