On the second day of the new year, there's a new dog.
Coveted defensive end prospect and Sports Illustrated All-American candidate Deonte Anderson announced on Saturday that he is joining Mississippi State. Anderson revealed his choice as part of the All-American Bowl's Declaration Day televised on NBC. Anderson has already signed with the Bulldogs.
"Mississippi State's coaching is outstanding," Anderson said on the broadcast. "The facilities are amazing. Also, they had defensive linemen go into the (NFL) draft two years ago and I can see myself in that same position."
Anderson becomes the 21st player to join MSU's class of 2021. He joins 19 others that signed with State last month in the early signing period along with Central Florida transfer and defensive end Randy Charlton.
The signing of Anderson certainly helps solidify things up front in MSU's most recent class. Charlton and Tre'von Marshall are the only other defensive linemen so far in the group.
Anderson will bring with him tremendous potential to Starkville. He's rated as a four-star prospect by 247Sports and a three-star recruit per Rivals and had multiple other offers, including opportunities at Penn State, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Central Florida and Nebraska. The Fort Meade (Florida) High talent is coming off a senior season in which he only saw action in six games, but still tallied 32 tackles including two sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
You can find highlights of Anderson in the video posted above. Also, here's a more complete picture of Anderson, courtesy of his SI All-American evaluation:
Prospect: Deonte Anderson
Vitals: 6-foot-3, 230 pounds
Position: Defensive End
High School: Fort Meade (FL)
Collegiate Status: Signed with Mississippi State
Projected Position: Defensive End
Frame: Long-armed defensive end with a thin frame. He will certainly need to add considerable weight to hold up in Power-5 on the edge.
Athleticism: When he’s not rushing the passer, he’s playing tight end and doing so fairly well. He has a quick first step but the most impressive trait are the hips through contact. He can bend a bit, he but could stand to improve there. Plays basketball for Fort Meade and does so well.
Instincts: Seems to understand the down and distance. Cranks it up in pivotal moments and must-have, stop situations. Uses his length to his advantage on the edge. Could stand to improve with play recognition.
Polish: Doesn’t have one specifically great trait, but does everything fairly well. He doesn’t show an advanced skill set in terms of hand fighting, but that could be due to the fact that he probably spent most of practice learning two positions in high school.
Bottom Line: Anderson is going to need to pack on pounds to hold up on the edge, but the measurables are all there otherwise. Seems to be a great athlete that just needs some fine-tuning and singular position focus. A rock-solid foundation should help him blossom in college.