Thursday, April 28, 2011

Meet Your Walk-ons: CB Tony Anderson

To perfect his speed and footwork, 
Tony Anderson (#17) sprints each morning
with an Obi Ezeh attached to one foot.

First Impressions:

Best Contemplative-Yet-Still-Confident-Even-After-Experiencing-A-Crushing-Defeat-To-Mississippi-State-In-A-Bowl-Game Expression:
Tony Anderson
RS Senior
High School:
Redondo Union, Redondo Beach CA
5’11’’, 192 lbs
If He Were an Animal:

Forward Progress:

Anderson hails from a high school not known for producing top talent:  Rivals has never bestowed more than two stars to any prospect out of Redondo Union.  Still, Anderson was widely considered the best player on his 2006 high school squad, moonlighting as both a wide receiver and defensive back for the Sea Hawks.

Since arriving in Ann Arbor in 2007, Anderson has seen primarily special teams action for the Wolverines.  In fact, despite being a fifth-year senior, he has taken snaps at the cornerback position in only five career games:

  • Delaware State (2009)
  • Bowling Green (2010)
  • Illinois (2010)
  • Wisconsin (2010)
  • Mississippi State (Gator Bowl)

Because Anderson is a walk-on athlete at a major college football program in a BCS conference, this should surprise nobody but the wide receivers he played against in high school.

After his redshirt season, Anderson made his Michigan debut in 2008 against Michigan State and played in each of the final five games of the disappointing season.  The following year his responsibilities increased only slightly, but he did log his first cameo as a cornerback in a win over Delaware State.  Anderson's production finally took a leap forward in 2010, contributing in eleven of the thirteen contests and making his first bowl game appearance.

Outlook for 2011:

In 2011, Anderson is primed for a promotion from "warm body in the event of multiple injuries" and "garbage time fill-in" to "warm body on the actual two-deep" and "regular time fill-in."  In Spring practice this year, Anderson has taken considerable snaps with the first team defense due in part to lingering injuries to J.T. Floyd and Troy Woolfolk.  At 192 lbs, Anderson is the second largest corner on the roster (behind only Woolfolk at 195), giving him desirable size for a strongside corner in Mattison's 4-3 Under defense and the ability to assist in run support as necessary.  With everybody at the position at full health (please, God), I expect Anderson to be Woolfolk's primary backup throughout the season.  

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