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Class of 2021 Prospect Profiles: Andrel Anthony

Michigan nabs a versatile receiver away from its in-state rival.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 01 Citrus Bowl - Michigan v Alabama Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Andrel Anthony

Position: WR

High School: East Lansing (MI)

Measurables: 6-foot-2, 175 pounds

Ranking: Three-star (.8755 composite), No. 523 overall, No. 81 WR

Other finalists: Michigan State, Notre Dame

Accolades: 2x 1st team All-State

Recruitment

Andrel Anthony was supposed to be a death blow to Michigan State. Flash back to July. Michigan was filling up the class quickly. The Wolverines had just landed two four-stars from California in recent weeks at wide receiver, including top target Xavier Worthy.

With three wide receiver commits in the fold, it looked like Anthony wasn’t going to be a priority. Meanwhile, Michigan State under new leadership from Mel Tucker, was wallowing without a four-star signee in two cycles and needed a win on the recruiting trail. Naturally, they targeted the East Lansing native as the potential headliner for their class. With Michigan filling up, crystal balls flipped away from the Wolverines and to the Spartans.

But then, the week before Anthony was set to announce his decisions, he took a trip to Ann Arbor that changed his mind. Michigan was able to nab Anthony away from Michigan State to be the fourth receiver in its class with seemingly little effort at all. All of a sudden, it looked like the Spartans were going to cease being a thorn in the Wolverines’ side and they could focus on bigger threats.

We all know what has happened since. While Michigan won that battle, Michigan State has not conceded. They shocked the Wolverines in an upset that portended Michigan’s awful season, leading them to lose out on four-star defensive tackle Rayshaun Benny.

With Markus Allen no longer in the class, Anthony’s role is now much more integral. Based on his high school career, though, he should be up to the task. As East Lansing’s all time receiving yards leader, Anthony has been a major contributor since he was a sophomore.

As a senior, he helped lead his squad to a dominant season and undefeated record before the season was cut short. While his stats dipped on the surface, you have to take them into context. On the season, East Lansing only attempted 87 passes in their seven played games, with 49 completions. That means Anthony caught over half of the completed passes and almost 30 percent of attempted passes for the year. For a team whose closest margin of victory was 15 points, they were content with running the ball.

Stats

Sophomore (9 games): 33 receptions, 543 yards, 7 TDs

Junior (9 games): 54 receptions, 954 yards, 9 TDs

Senior (7 games): 31 receptions, 564 yards, 4 TDs

Scouting

Maize n Brew scouting report

Pros:

  • Smooth and fluid athlete with great change of direction
  • Excellent footwork to snap off his routes and create separation
  • Good ball tracking skills and body control on deep routes

Cons:

  • Slight build, will have to add strength to last in the Big Ten
  • Good, not great speed and acceleration
  • Level of competition faced was weak

Anthony has a slender build at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. He has the ability to play either on the outside or in the slot. His most impressive trait is his footwork, which is especially useful in the slot. Anthony is very smooth in and out of the breaks, with great footwork to chop his feet and redirect quickly. This often leaves him with several yards of separation between him and his defender.

With a handful of receivers already in the slot role at Michigan, Anthony may find the field earlier as an outside receiver. His ball-tracking skills allow him to find and adjust to passes down the field. His body control and balance help him absorb contact and stay on track to bring in those balls. He will have to add more weight to survive on the outside. He is very slight right now and while that is fine against mid-level competition in Michigan, it will not last against Big Ten competition.