High School: Cass Tech (MI)
Measurables: 6-foot-3, 298 pounds
Ranking: Four-star (.9177 composite), No. 210 overall, No. 3 C
Other finalists: Michigan State, LSU, Louisville
Accolades: 1st Team All-State, 2nd Team All-State, Metro Detroit Dream Team
Cass Tech is one of the most historically successful high school football programs in the state of Michigan. They’ve sent plenty of players to the next level, including several to Michigan. With the constant stream of talent coming through the program, it’s hard for underclassmen to see the field.
Raheem Anderson, though, is a different breed. Without ever having played the center position before, he walked into the first day of varsity camp as a freshman with the mindset he was going to take a starting job away from an upperclassman. He did just that, kicking off four straight years as a starter.
The next year, Anderson broke another barrier. He was unanimously voted by his teammates as a captain, marking the first time a sophomore was named captain under Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher. Centers need to be leaders, as they are responsible for making the line calls and setting protections for the offensive line. With four years of experience, Anderson has more preparation than most to step into that role and command respect from his teammates.
But with all of these intangibles and performance on the field, Anderson almost didn’t end up in Michigan’s class. He was the first player in the 2021 class to receive an offer from Michigan back in his sophomore year, but it didn’t look like there’d be room after Greg Crippen committed in late March. Not many teams are willing to take multiple true centers in a class.
All of the crystal balls on Michigan went cloudy after Crippen committed. LSU was prioritizing Anderson, along with schools like Michigan State, Louisville, Missouri and Arkansas. At some point, though, Michigan coaches decided they still needed one of the state’s best talents and kept him as a take.
That proved to be wise, as Anderson committed just a couple weeks later. During his senior season, he helped lead Cass Tech to an undefeated record before the playoffs were postponed. He gained his fourth star on 247Sports and was bumped up modestly on the composite.
In January, they have a monumental game in the state quarterfinals with one of the other talent-rich teams, Belleville. Winning a state championship will be the culmination of one of the most admirable careers in Cass Tech history.
- Powerful at the point of attack and drives through contact
- Stout frame with strong lower body
- Experience and leadership are off the charts
- Sometimes lunges at blocks instead of bending at the knees
- Testing numbers are below average, indicating a lack of explosiveness
- Feet are heavy at times, sapping his agility
Anderson is a classic mauler who grinds defenders into dust in the run game. He has a wide frame with a thick lower body. His best trait is his strength at the point of attack. Once he locks onto defenders, he keeps his legs churning and drives defenders yards downfield, often finishing them to the ground.
Anderson could improve his bend more to prevent leaning into blocks. In both pass protection and the run game, Anderson will sometimes lunge instead of bending at the knees, putting him off-balance and leaving him susceptible to being shed.
Film of Anderson in pass protection is limited, but his low center of gravity allows him to anchor and not cede ground. His lack of agility may cause him to struggle sliding laterally to pick up rushers.
His extensive experience at the position and technical proficiency gives Anderson a high floor and a chance to see the field early. But his subpar testing numbers impact his ceiling and he’ll probably end up as a late-round draft pick if everything pans out for him.