MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Evan Landi has played a little quarterback during his career at South Florida, started an entire season at wide receiver and is now a tight end - not exactly the desired path a player hopes to travel when he first walks on a college campus.
For sure, things could be different. Landi was actually a talented and coveted high school hockey player in Coral Springs, Fla.
"I think I was pretty solid," he said.
So, too, did the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League, one of the three junior leagues that make up the Canadian Hockey League.
The Attack invited Landi to Ontario for a tryout during an open week in his senior football season
"It was three or four days long and I thought I played pretty well," Landi said. "When it was done, they said, 'We have a spot for you.' "
Professional hockey was never the goal, not in Florida and not when he started playing in a roller hockey league as a kid and graduated to ice hockey when he was 8 years old. Yet there it was, a chance to play hockey and get paid for it.
"My heart was in football," he said. "My parents were very open to the hockey thing and they saw it as something not many kids from Florida get a chance to do. But football was something I always wanted to do."
Landi chose college, like his father, Michael, who was a receiver at Central Florida, and his mother, Dee, who played basketball for the Golden Knights. His sister, Justine, was an All-Big East volleyball player at Louisville.
Landi picked the Bulls over offers from Wisconsin and South Carolina and was recruited there by current West Virginia running backs coach Robert Gillespie.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Landi enters Thursday's 8 p.m. game against WVU as the starting tight end, but he's done a list of things to help the Bulls through the years.
"It doesn't matter what title I get," he said. "I just want to be known as someone who helped his team. I've done a lot, pretty much whatever the need and we have had some needs the past couple years. I just want to play."
He has, and in a variety of ways. Landi has 25 receptions this season for 230 yards and a touchdown - the game-winner in the season opener at Notre Dame.
A year ago he started all 13 games and was second on the team with 28 catches, 390 yards and two scores.
In 2008, he split time in a reserve role as a receiver and a Wildcat quarterback.