The Wolverine

February 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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54 THE WOLVERINE FEBRUARY 2017   COMMITMENT PROFILE Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Acad- emy five-star inside linebacker Jordan Anthony was viewed as a Michigan lean for a while, and he finally made it official Dec. 21, becoming the second five-star in the Wolverines' 2017 class after Detroit wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones com- mitted just a week earlier. Anthony, the No. 1 inside line- backer and No. 26 overall pros- pect nationally, had been to Ann Arbor several times throughout his recruitment and never found another place that could stack up. It all started to become clear after his official visit for the Wis- consin game. "It was great up there," he said. "Just being able to spend more time with the coaches and getting to meet more of the play- ers was a fun experience. I really enjoyed my time up there. "Obviously, it was a great game so that made it fun to be there. Talking with [redshirt junior] linebacker Mike McCray, who was my host, was really helpful. He told me all about Coach [Don] Brown's de- fense and explained how it was a very linebacker-friendly scheme." That conversation started to give Anthony a look into what it would be like to be a student-athlete at U-M. "Michigan just feels like the perfect fit for me," Anthony said. "They've been on me since my sophomore year, and they've been consistent with me. I've appreciated that since the beginning. "I loved everything from touring the school to meeting the coaching staff, seeing the athletic facilities and everything they have to offer. It's just the place I want to be at." Out of all of those pluses, the coaches at Michigan were the main reason for Anthony's pledge. The ath- letic 6-1, 220-pounder lauded the staff and believes he'll fit in well with the personalities around the program. "I would say we have a pretty good relationship," Anthony said of his bond with U-M's staff. "We talk almost every day. They're defi- nitely the staff I talked with the most throughout the process. "I talked to defensive coordina- tor Don Brown the most. I have talked to Coach [Jim] Harbaugh and Coach [Chris] Partridge a lot throughout the process, too. I have gotten to know who they are and their type of character. "Coach Harbaugh is doing something special, and he isn't leaving Michigan. I want to be a part of that." Anthony is excited to be a member of the class and be- lieves the talent being brought in with him has the potential to do something special. "I believe the class he has re- cruited is pretty good so far," he said. As of Jan. 16, Michigan had 27 commitments, and the collection of talent was ranked No. 4 in the country behind only Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia. Southeast recruit- ing analyst Rob Cassidy noted players like Anthony are the main reason for such a highly ranked class. "Anthony is the most active mem- ber of an IMG defense that might just be the nation's best," Cassidy said. "He moves incredibly well laterally and is a versatile player that shined as a running back before moving to linebacker full time. "He's as disruptive a linebacker as there is in the class and seems to be in the backfield on most snaps. Michigan got a very good player in Jordan Anthony." When it was finally time, Anthony took to Twitter to announce his com- mitment to U-M and wrote a well- thought out message to Michigan fans regarding his decision. "I am excited to take my next step as a player and student at the Uni- versity of Michigan," he wrote. "The first time I visited campus, I was amazed. I got chills walking onto the field at The Big House. "I'm ready to set my own path and create my own legacy among the Wolverine greats." After a very productive season at IMG Academy where he racked up 79 tackles, including five for loss and a half of a sack, Anthony was named to USA Today's 2016 All-USA Florida Football second team. — Brandon Brown FILM EVALUATION Strengths: Jordan Anthony is known as an absolute tackling machine and often outshined everyone on the field, which is saying something at a place like IMG Academy. He's extremely instinctive and very athletic, allowing him to be around the ball on nearly every play. Areas Of Improvement: It's not necessarily something Anthony can improve, but he's not ideally built for a linebacker. Listed at 6-1, 220 pounds, he's a tad undersized for an inside linebacker — but he's so good at what he does that he's been able to earn five-star status. Michigan Player Comparison: Because of his size, instincts and ability to be around the ball, Anthony compares favorably to former Michigan linebacker Lawrence Reid. A candidate for the 2004 Butkus Award, which is given to the nation's top linebacker, Reid won the 2003 Roger Zatkoff Award for being Michi- gan's best linebacker. Anthony has the skill set to be that good at U-M as well. — Analysis from Anthony is the second U-M commit in the 2017 class, along with early enrollee center Cesar Ruiz, that played at prep powerhouse IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. PHOTO COURTESY RIVALS.COM Five-Star Linebacker Jordan Anthony Will Bring His Talents To Ann Arbor

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