BRADENTON, Fla. – Moving from high school to college is a difficult transition itself, and IMG Academy junior Jordan Anthony will experience that one soon enough–right after he gets past the one that awaits him this fall.
Ranked as the No. 5 outside linebacker in the country on 247Sports.com’s composite ranking, Anthony will switch position to running back this fall. According to the 6’1”, 213-pound athlete, it is a move that is “going well” thus far.
“Actually I started off at defense [this offseason], so we worked a lot on playing in space and those type of things,” said Anthony. “Playing the run, stuff like that. But now I transferred to running back and it’s going well so far. I’m just trying to learn the plays.”
Check out Anthony’s highlight reel on Hudl
When asked if the highly touted linebacker prospect will see any time on defense this fall, Anthony remained noncommittal, citing a team need could precipitate the move.
“I’m not sure,” said Anthony. “Maybe if someone goes down I’ll have to jump over there, but I think it’s just running back right now.”
As for his development at running back, Anthony sees himself as a grind-it-out, physical back that is capable of gaining the tough yards.
“I’m a power back,” said Anthony. “I like to fight for those extra yards and lower my shoulder. When I’m in space, I try to make people miss but I’m more of a power back.”
On the recruiting trail, Anthony is receiving all of his interest at linebacker since it is such a new change. If all goes well, Anthony feels the change could lead to additional college interest.
In the meantime, schools are recruiting the talented junior at his natural position, including the Nebraska Cornhuskers, a program that recently entered the fray with an offer on Wednesday.
“I was shocked,” said Anthony. “I didn’t think they were even looking in my direction, so I was very impressed. I would definitely like to see what’s going on [at Nebraska]. I have never been out west in my life, so I’d like to visit.”
The coveted prospect says that he feels four other programs are standing out: Clemson, Auburn, Penn State and Maryland.
With Clemson, a visit during the Tigers’ practice helped set the tone for what was a positive visit on all accounts.
“I met coach [Brent] Venables,”said Anthony. “He’s the linebacker coach. He’s a very great guy. I like his enthusiasm and the way he is. I was only down there for about 20 minutes, but seeing him doing drills with the campers was great. He told me a lot of facts about the school and I was very impressed.”
During a visit to Auburn, Anthony says the Tigers’ detailed plan for his future was a highlight of his trip.
“I met coach [Lance] Thompson, the linebacker coach, and I definitely like him,” said Anthony. “He told me, well really all these schools told me I’d be more of an in-space linebacker. It’s like an athletic guy who could cover. Not as a defensive back but like that sometimes. That’s one thing I really am impressed with: these schools know what they’re going to do with me.”
Anthony also sees a lot of similarity from the two Big Ten programs on his list.
“I went there for a visit,” said Anthony. “I like the fans. They’re friendly and the coaching staff [impressed] too, I watched their camp while and they told me what’s going on. Everyone’s into it and a lot energy. Same for Maryland.”
As for this fall, Anthony has not set any visits since his focus is on the upcoming season.
“It’s been a lot of work lately. Down here it’s all work and there’s not a lot of free time. It’s all business. You know, IMG is very stacked with a lot of 5-stars, so I feel like if I can stand out here and be with those guys and hang with them, then that would prove that I can play.”
Watch for more schools to join Nebraska in Anthony’s recruitment in the coming months.