ALGIERS, La. — For nearly eight months, Andre Anthony never considered playing his college football anywhere but Death Valley.
Less than a week before National Signing Day, however, the four-star defensive end found out his recruitment was very much up in the air.
Anthony, the nation’s No. 15 weakside defensive end, underwent some last-minute jitters about his future at LSU based largely on how he would fit in first-year defensive coordinator Dave Aranda’s scheme, and if he failed to consider all of his options.
Memphis, Texas A&M and TCU were among a host of other schools that came knocking at Edna Karr High School trying to coerce Anthony to flip.
Even after taking the official visit to Memphis the weekend before National Signing Day, one that Anthony admitted exceeded expectations, he couldn’t get over his first love.
“This last week was hectic,” Anthony said, relieved to have finally put his pledge into ink.
“A lot of schools were coming in and out, trying to get my last official visit. A lot of schools were coming back into things and I had a lot running through my mind. I knew, but I didn’t know.
“I wanted to figure out all of my options. I wanted to get the last official visit and see something. As a person, I wanted to view my options and see what I had. But after talking to my family, I knew where my heart was and where I wanted to be, and I knew I was making the right decision.”
That decision was made close to midnight in New Orleans on the eve of signing day, as Anthony, his parents and Karr coach Brice Brown continued to lay out all of the prospect’s options.
After much deliberating, Anthony couldn’t stray far from LSU, but it was anything but a guarantee as of late Tuesday night.
“It was an extremely long process with Andre,” Brown recalled. “We met with his parents (Tuesday) night and we thought LSU was the place for him. But hats off to Memphis for doing an outstanding job of recruiting Andre. I can tell you, though, that LSU is getting an incredible young man, a full-circle young man that will represent the university well not only on the field, but off it, too.”
Anthony’s character was on display as he took a selfless attitude in his decision to ultimately stick with LSU.
Sure, there are plenty of uncertainties as far as which position Anthony will play or what he’ll be asked to do in the new-look Tigers defense. But Anthony said he’d play anywhere the coaches ask him to play — so long as it’s in Tiger Stadium.
“They see me as a defensive end, definitely, but I’ll be happy to play whatever,” Anthony said. “If they want me to play on the outside, I can play that. I’ll drop back in coverage, rush the passer, and I’ll add a lot of value to my stock. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do it and perfect it … as long as I’m at LSU doing it.”