The Wolverine

September 2020

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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SEPTEMBER 2020 THE WOLVERINE 39   COMMITMENT PROFILE M ichigan scored another big summer commit- ment. This time around, the Wolverines notched a verbal pledge from three-star East Lansing (Mich.) High wide receiver Andrel Anthony, who announced his decision at his high school July 31. Anthony picked Michigan over finalists Michigan State, Notre Dame and Penn State. But this one was ultimately a head-to-head win for Michi- gan over rival Michigan State. "Just the vibe I got from [Michigan] day one was a lot different," he explained. "I re- ally liked [new MSU coach Mel] Tucker 's staff, but I haven't been able to build a relationship with them like with Michigan since my sophomore year. Just being around the coaching staff and the players, they love to talk to me. They just showed a lot of love and interest in me. "They came to my basketball game. That was crazy because you don't see [Jim] Harbaugh at your basketball games often. They've just been on me since my sophomore year. I had Coach [Sherrone] Moore waiting outside of my physics class my sophomore year. I had no idea either. It was awesome." Even though Anthony grew up in East Lansing, he was actually a Michigan fan as a kid. His father also grew up in East Lansing and loved the Wolverines. His mother, on the other hand, is a Michigan State alum. Besides his father, Anthony faced pressure from all angles to stay in East Lansing and be a hometown hero. However, Michigan is where he felt the most comfortable. He truly bonded with the coaching staff, loved the fam- ily atmosphere, formed friendships with the commits and became more intrigued with U-M's basketball pitch. The family as a whole decided that Michigan would be the pick just a few days before the ceremony. "As a parent, you try to watch for things," said Anthony's father, An- drel Anthony Sr. "When I was sick, Coach [Josh] Gattis gave me a call and texted me. Just little things like that. Same with Coach Moore. They called and checked up on him all the time and gave us a good family vibe. You could tell they had genuine interest in my son. That was really important. "Michigan State is a good school. It's nothing bad against Michigan State. With the coach- ing change over there and CO- VID-19 and not getting to visit, there was an unknown factor. He's been talking to the Michi- gan coaches since his sopho- more year. He developed the re- lationships. He's been to camp there. We had just started de- veloping relationships with the new Michigan State coaches." Michigan has done a terrific job of personalizing recruit- ments during the dead period. Anthony is a high-level bas- ketball player, and Harbaugh and company made sure to get U-M basketball coach Ju- wan Howard heavily involved in this recruitment, which actually played a big role in his decision. This wasn't just a recruiting tactic, ei- ther. There is legitimate interest in An- thony doing both sports in Ann Arbor. "I talked to Coach Howard a little bit ago," Anthony noted. "He just said he loves what he sees — my energy, my motivation and my drive. It will be interesting to see what I do there as well. It was awesome [to be recruited by the basketball team as well]. "My dream is to play any sport, but to have a chance to play both is won- derful and amazing. Coach Howard is the opposite of Harbaugh. Coach Harbaugh is like 'Oh, hey, hey!' Coach Howard is just chill. He's funny, but he's a great person as well." Anthony is the fourth receiver in Michigan's 2021 recruiting class, join- ing Rivals250 prospect Cristian Dixon, and fellow three-star pass catchers Xavier Worthy and Markus Allen. Anthony recorded 54 receptions for 954 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior en route to helping lead East Lansing to an appearance in the Michigan state playoffs. lists the 6-2, 175-pound Anthony as the No. 15 prospect in Michigan and the No. 81 wide re- ceiver in the country. — EJ Holland Despite residing in rival territory and his mom being a Michigan State alum, Anthony grew up a Michigan fan like his dad. He not only built better relationships with the Wolverines' coaching staff than the hometown option, but U-M may also give him the chance to play basketball in college. PHOTO BY EJ HOLLAND Two-Sport East Lansing Star Andrel Anthony Opts For U-M FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Andrel Anthony brings a ton of athleticism to the table as evi- denced by Michigan's basketball pitch. The three-star prospect can jump out of the gym and be a legitimate threat in the red zone. He is a very tactical route runner and polished getting in and out his breaks. He has soft hands and an excellent catch radius. Areas For Improvement: While Anthony has a lot of athletic ability, he is not necessarily explosive. Anthony needs to unlock the ability to use his athleticism to make plays after the catch and in the open field. The straight-line speed is there, but the quickness in short space can be improved. He is also very thin in both his upper and lower body. Adding weight is a must. Michigan Player Comparison: Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis has told Anthony that he is in a similar mold as Ronnie Bell. Like Bell, Anthony is a plus basketball player and undervalued as a football recruit. Expect the Wolverines to use Anthony much like they have used Bell over the past couple of seasons. — EJ Holland

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