MORGANTOWN - It seemed one of the most enjoyable moments for West Virginia University fans last season surfaced when a certain Mountaineer tackled the quarterback.
When Bruce Irvin made a sack, the Mountaineer faithful would rain down the word "Bruuuce."
Well, Irvin has gone to the Seattle Seahawks. But WVU fans can retain their chant.
Among the younger defensive players making a name for himself during the ongoing camp is Sam (strong-side inside linebacker) Isaiah Bruce, a 6-foot-1, 226-pound redshirt freshman.
He's battling sophomore Shaq Petteway at the position. But even if Petteway ultimately ends up as the starter, Bruce will still get a good deal of playing time. His speed and athleticism have made that possible.
How much speed? Well, while attending Providence High in Jacksonville, Fla., Bruce was a state champion in the 300-meter hurdles. It didn't take Dana Holgorsen's staff long to notice the player.
"I believe it started in the spring game," Bruce said. "I think I made a lot of plays. And in practice I'm always hustling, always getting to the ball. So I believe they feel I should be on the field and I can help the team a lot."
Bruce has seen much change in just one school year at WVU. He's experienced a new head coach, new defensive coordinator and new scheme.
"In the beginning it was a little difficult to get [the new scheme] to sink in," Bruce said. "I personally believe, though, it's so much easier to run [the 3-4] than the stack. The stack was kind of hard for me to comprehend. But this is easier for me, especially during camp.
"We see a lot of film and go over it so much that it's ingrained in your head. I'm getting it very well now."
Bruce seems to be a student of the game.
"In the stack we had less anchor points, which is the D-line," said the freshman. "Now that we have the D-line and the Star and the Buck [linebacker positions] coming off the edges, you don't know which one is coming. It makes it harder for the offense to decide who is coming. In high school, I did both the 3-3 and the 3-4. I originally thought the 3-3 was better for me - until I got here."