There was an affinity for wide receiver Andrel Anthony heading into the 2022 season. As a true freshman, the East Lansing native put on a show against his hometown team, the Michigan State Spartans. After 155 yards on six catches, two going for touchdowns, Michigan Wolverines fans felt like he was the next WR1 in Ann Arbor.
Instead, Anthony found himself low on the depth chart and didn’t play a ton. He appeared in just seven games in 2022, amounting to only seven receptions for 80 yards.
Long story short, it was not the season fans or Anthony expected coming into his second year. As a result, he jumped into the transfer portal and landed with the Oklahoma Sooners. He recently discussed his decision to leave Michigan for a new opportunity.
“Michigan was my dream school growing up, which is what makes this hard for me,” Anthony said to the OUInsider. “But I know it is something that I have to do if I want to get to the next level.”
Since 2016, Oklahoma has produced NFL wide receiver talent like Sterling Shepard, CeeDee Lamb, Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. That was all with Lincoln Riley at the helm, but the program has produced a lot of NFL talent at that position.
“It has worked out so far,” said Anthony, “Oklahoma sold me on being an elite playmaker, speed, good character, and effort. They were about giving me an opportunity to see what I can do.
“You jump in blindly and hope that you get opportunities. It is kind of stressful because it was so fast and I entered late. I didn’t talk to Oklahoma; I don’t even think they knew I was going to leave. Coach (Jeff) Lebby called me like a minute after I entered. I didn’t even know he was here. It was huge. I’ve always liked Oklahoma with its history and how they operate. For coach Lebby to call me that fast I was like, ‘Oh, wow. I must be pretty up there for them.’ That was a good feeling for me.”
If Anthony gets the role he is expecting, that is exactly what the transfer portal was made for. I understand it was a surprise to fans he left, and he is certainly a talented player, but it was tough to imagine he would get significant snaps until after Cornelius Johnson and Roman Wilson left.
If you were on Twitter at all during Anthony’s portal recruitment, you saw how many teams expressed interest and offered him. Based on his comments, it’s clear he wanted to get a chance to play a more prominent role at another high-level program. He will likely get that opportunity at Oklahoma, so it seems like he made the best decision for himself.