MORGANTOWN - It took Erik Slaughter a while to notice Tyler Anderson.
And why not? After all, when Slaughter arrived as West Virginia's defensive line coach just before spring practice began, he had a ton of catching up to do. And it's not like the players he was coaching were household names or established players. Only two - Will Clarke and Jorge Wright - have ever started a game.
So when Slaughter tried to sort out the 15 or so guys he had to work with, a junior walk-on from the local high school didn't command much immediate attention.
"It took me a while [to notice him] because I didn't know any of them,'' Slaughter said. "But he came in and was serious about what he was doing and passionate about what he's doing, which I am, too.
"Because of that, I think we hit it off right away. I love his effort and intensity. And that's the kind of kids I want up front.''
Well, heading into West Virginia's opener a week from today against Marshall, Anderson has made enough of an impression that he's likely to be in the starting lineup. As he was after spring practice, he's listed as a starter.
Technically it's not on the defensive line. Anderson is playing the Buck linebacker spot in West Virginia's 3-4 scheme. But you might as well call that a defensive lineman because much of the time the Buck linebacker walks up on the line as a rush end.
That's like coming home for Anderson, who as a sophomore at Morgantown High played as a stand-up end and then his final two years he spent doing exactly what he's doing now - playing outside linebacker with a lot of time being spent stepping up to the line.
"It's been different for me almost every year,'' Anderson said. "When the old coaches were here, I came from high school knowing all that stuff and then trying to forget all of that and playing in the 3-3-5. That was hard. But morphing back to it now, it's like it all came back to me. It all clicked.
"It's kind of what I did in high school, standing up on the end.''