On offense, senior running back Le'Floyd Phillips returns after seeing action in 10 of 11 games in 2012. The native of Atlanta, Ga., served as the backup to Aubra Taylor, accounting for two touchdowns and 118 yards on 34 attempts, including a 70-yard run that was the longest rushing play of the year for State.
At quarterback there is a three-man race between senior-transfer Tyler Seals, sophomore Joe Thornton and redshirt freshman D'Von Dorsey. Seals comes to State from Northwest Missouri State, while Thornton and Dorsey were both with the program. Anderson said the competition is wide open with all three getting first-team reps. True freshmen Matt Kinnick and Trent Williamson are pushing to get into that top tier, Anderson said, but for now the job appears to be going to one of the other three quarterbacks.
"All three of those guys are working to separate themselves right now," he said. "We're going to have to make some decisions very quickly."
On defense, the Yellow Jackets return their second-leading tackler from 2012 in junior linebacker Edward Blair. Joining Blair in the linebacking corps will be sophomore Mark Guerin. Anderson said Guerin had impressed him after initially not appearing to be a part of his plans at State.
"He really earned every opportunity he is getting and he's slated to be a starting outside linebacker for us," Anderson said. "It took him a little bit to buy in, like we've been talking about, to this program but in the last six months he has really blossomed. He was, I don't want to say written off, but when he wasn't producing and doing the other things he needs to do he was out of sight, out of mind. Now he does the right things."
West Virginia State begins its 2013 season on Sept. 7 at Lock Haven University. The Yellow Jackets open MEC play at Concord Sept. 14 before hosting West Liberty on Sept. 21.
Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.br...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.