After a recruitment where Michigan State was long considered the favorite, East Lansing (Mich.) High wide receiver Andrel Anthony bucked that trend by committing to Michigan on Friday. Anthony chose the Wolverines over a final group of Michigan State, Penn State and Notre Dame, and the in-state prospect will be the fourth wideout in U-M's 2021 class.
“I've been talking about this with my family for a while now, for over a month until I knew it was time,” Anthony told Wolverine Digest. “I had my decision for about two weeks, then it was all the fine-tuned details after that. I felt like I was ready to commit, and I took my time. I didn't rush it. I feel very ready for that. It's a place I want to be, and it's called home.”
Anthony describes Michigan as home in part because the Wolverines coaching staff has been recruiting him for such a long time. According to the new Michigan pledge, Anthony had been hearing from U-M since his sophomore year, and that eventually played an influential role in his decision.
“They've showed a lot of love to me since then,” Anthony said. “I've visited Michigan a few times too for some games and stuff like that. Their coaching staff is amazing as well. Coach [Jim] Harbaugh, Coach [Josh] Gattis and Coach [Sherrone] Moore, they seem like pretty good people as well. They also develop people as well and put people in the league.”
And while that trio of coaches worked hard to land the in-state recruit, a contingent of current players and Michigan commits also put in some legwork to help land Anthony. These athletes helped to share a first-hand perspective of what life is like at Michigan for a player.
“From Michigan, I heard a lot from Xavier Worthy, Giles Jackson, Raheem Anderson as well,” Anthony said. “It's been a variety of recruits and people on their team.”
Over the course of his recruitment, Anthony has had an opportunity to visit each of his final four programs, but he wanted one last look at Michigan, so he took a visit to Ann Arbor over the weekend.
“I really wanted to see Michigan's campus because I had never really seen their campus and school,” Anthony said. “I had only really seen all the athletic stuff and their football stadium. It was like I really wanted to see their campus, their school, where I'd be going if I do choose them, so that's basically what that was.”
Since Anthony had made his decision a couple weeks prior, his recent trip to Michigan helped him obtain a better feel for the campus and what his day-to-day life might look like in Ann Arbor. That unofficial visit only helped to solidify his decision to become a Wolverine, one which was complicated by the NCAA-mandated dead period that took effect in mid-March.
“It was extremely tough because I haven't been able to visit as many places any more as much as I'd like to--- official visits, stuff like that where you build more relationships and bond with the coaches," Anthony said. "There's only so much you can do through a FaceTime and through a Zoom. That really was a negative, but I was fortunate enough to see every place once at least. It's just very weird.”
Now with Anthony in the fold, Michigan has the No. 8 class in the nation according to 247Sports.com, bumping North Carolina out of that position. U-M may continue to rise in the ranks soon as Camden (NJ) High defensive back Darian Chestnut is tabbed to announce on Sunday, and Clarkston (Mich.) High offensive guard Rocco Spindler will be making his college decision on Saturday, Aug. 8.
What are your thoughts on Michigan's ability to snag Anthony from Spartan territory? How do you feel about the Wolverines' current class with four wide receivers in the group? Let us know!