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  1. #11
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    Anzalone Excited About Hitting Road

    Alex Anzalone was clearly on the radar of several BCS college programs, but the linebacker from Wyomissing Area High School in Wyomissing, Pa., saw his recruitment explode after participating in the Army All-American Underclassmen Combine in San Antonio in January.

    Anzalone has been one of – if not the – hottest recruits in America over the last several weeks. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder has been grabbing offers at a dizzying rate from programs like Notre Dame, Alabama, USC, Stanford ,Florida State, Oklahoma, Georgia, Michigan and Penn State among several others.

    “Every day it’s another school,” Anzalone’s father Sal said.

    “They’re all good schools, some of them have better academics than others, but we’re taking it in stride,” he added. “Alex has not gotten a big head over any of this. He’s been very level-headed about it all. We’re trying to narrow it down to a top 10 and then to a top five, but that’s getting difficult as more schools are getting piled onto the list.”

    Anzalone’s father acknowledges that the explosion of interest had changed the family’s thinking with regard to some programs.

    “Schools that we thought we might be interested in in the beginning might have to take a little bit of a backseat because you can’t visit everywhere,” he said. “It’s just impossible.”

    As a pediatrician, Sal Anzalone has a pretty busy schedule, but he’s doing his best to clear his schedule to be sure his son can make any visit he wants.

    “My goal right now is that if he has an opportunity to visit a school – it doesn’t matter where it is, it could be in California – at some point we’ll make the time for it,” he said.

    Anzalone is in Florida checking out Florida, his father’s alma mater, and Florida State this weekend. He’ll be in South Bend next weekend for the Irish’s Junior Day on the 24th. The family is excited about the upcoming trip and the opportunities Notre Dame offers.

    “Watching the movie Rudy, are you kidding me?” Sal laughed. “There are a lot of alumni who are in our area and people I know personally who are Notre Dame alums. It’s amazing how passionate Notre Dame’s alumni are and the network along with the tradition of football at Notre Dame.

    “It’s a no-brainer. It’s a great school and you have to take it seriously. To have an offer from a great school with a great tradition, it’s something you have to take seriously, so we are.”

    Anzalone has academics and program tradition among his top factors along with playing time.

    “They have a lot of things that he’s looking for,” his father said of the Irish.

    Anzalone is looking to make a decision soon, but not too soon.

    “Alex has expressed to me that he wants to respect the process of recruiting,” his father said. “Everybody invests time and money trying to recruit kids. He wants to give all the institutions a fair shot. He doesn’t want to pass judgment or have preconceived judgments about anything.

    “The goal is to have him commit sooner rather than later and that’s why we’re making the investment now and making the visits now. I think he’s probably going to start setting up visits for spring practices for a lot of these schools, the ones that he’s most interested in, and hopefully have a decision before summer, before he starts his senior year.”

    Sal Anzalone has one son in medical school and another who is a 4.0 student at Penn State. Alex is just as impressive to his father.

    “I know I’m a little biased because I’m his father and I’m a pediatrician, but you’re not going to find a better kid,” the elder Anzalone said of Alex. “I take care of kids and I know kids.

    “I’m so proud of him because he’s handling it in a mature fashion and if you talk to anybody in his school, they’ll give you the same feedback. He’s really special. He’s amazingly mature. He’s a special kid.”

    Sal is quick to direct the credit away from himself, pointing instead to his wife, Judy, “They’ve been raised by a great mother, I’ll tell you that right now, she’s at home taking care of business.”

    As the process continues to get hectic for Alex, he realizes he’s in a position many kids would dream of and wants to use himself as an example.

    “The kids in his school and community know that if you work hard and keep your nose clean, it can happen to you too,” his father said. “Yes, he’s blessed with genetics, he’s 6-3, 220, but if you’re blessed with those kind of things and do the right kind of things, good things can happen.

    “I think that’s the message he sends to a lot of kids. He’s turned a lot of kids around in our community, I’ll tell you that right now. I know that for a fact.
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  2. #12
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    Scout.com: Alex Anzalone: What the doctor ordered?

    Pennsylvania athlete Alex Anzalone is one of the best linebackers in the nation, and has the offer list to show for it. Last month, Stanford joined schools including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC in offering the 6-foot-3, 225-pound two-way player.

    The Cardinal offered Alex Anzalone in late February after new inside linebackers coach David Kotulski got a chance to review Anzalone’s film. Kotulski and the Stanford staff were so impressed with what they saw that they not only offered Anzalone at his primary position, linebacker, but also expressed interest in the four-star recruit at running back.
    “They wanted him to see my film, whoever the new coach would be, before they offered me, but they ended up offering me and I guess they like me at running back too,” said Anzalone, Scout.com's No. 10 OLB in the country. “I think it’s whichever I’m more comfortable doing. I think it’s pretty neat that they offered me at running back as well.”

    Although Anzalone feels that his best chance to thrive on the professional level may be at linebacker, he’s also excited about the possibility of trying offense.

    “NFL-wise it seems to me that I’d have a better chance at linebacker, but it would be pretty cool playing running back,” said Anzalone, who added that Stanford has yet to discuss playing both ways. “I’m pretty open to anything right now.”

    Since Stanford offered Anzalone, Cardinal coaches Mike Sanford and Kotulski have been in regular contact with him.

    “We’ve just been communicating through Facebook,” Anzalone said. “I’ve been talking to Coach Sanford and also I had a really long, probably like 40-minute conversation with Coach Kotulski [a few nights ago], so we’ve been speaking pretty frequently.”

    Next week, Anzalone will get to meet Sanford and Kotulski in person when he visits Stanford, USC and UCLA on a West Coast swing.

    “I’m leaving this upcoming Sunday, I think it’s the 1st,” Anzalone said. “We’re flying into [the Bay Area] and I think we may do a meeting or something and see everything by myself and sit through a couple of meetings on Monday and then we’re probably going to go to UCLA on that Tuesday and USC too. Then we’ll probably drive back up to Palo Alto for the Junior Day.”

    Well aware of Stanford’s academic reputation, Anzalone is eager to learn more about life as a Cardinal football player during his visit.

    “Obviously the academics are really strong and the program has been doing really good recently, so I guess just seeing everything,” Anzalone said of his goals for the Stanford visit. “I’m not familiar with Stanford, so I want to see everything. The academic support, the campus life, how the coaches coach, so pretty much everything.”

    Anzalone’s West Coast swing could go a long way toward helping him determine how Stanford will factor into his recruitment.

    “I think my recruitment is pretty open right now,” Anzalone said. “I haven’t visited all of these major schools, so I definitely want to take my time and see everything before I actually make a decision.”

    Anzalone said that it would be convenient to make a commitment before his senior season, but he might extend his recruitment and take his official visits should circumstances dictate. When Anzalone does make a commitment, comfort level with the school and football program will play a large role in his choice.

    “I think it’s just being comfortable with the coaches and the players and just making the right choice just by making sure it’s the right choice, because I’m not a big fan of decommitting,” Anzalone said. “I think it’s just being comfortable with the players and coaches.”

    Although he hasn’t gotten to know Stanford as well as he has some other schools, the Cardinal’s academic reputation appeals to Anzalone.

    “Definitely the high academics,” Anzalone said. “That’s very attractive especially for my family because my dad’s a doctor and both of my brothers, one is in medical school and one is in pre-med. So it’s definitely attractive coming from a family like mine. [It’s also] powerhouse football in the Pac-12, so it’s all-around pretty well respected.” The family’s academic emphasis has rubbed on to Alex. A potential business major, Anzalone is taking a rigorous high school courseload.

    “My current GPA is 4.8, and I’m taking four AP and two honors classes,” Anzalone said.
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  3. #13
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    Anzalone An All-Around Talent

    Alex Anzalone exploded on the national recruiting scene when he gathered more than 20 BCS last month alone.

    But the 6-foot-3, 220-pound athlete from Wyomissing Area High School (Wyomissing, Pa.) hasn’t had any trouble remaining grounded through it all.

    “He’s a pretty level-headed kid,” Wyomissing Area head coach Bob Wolfrum said.

    “He’s just sort of got a smile on his face. When those kinds of schools are all offering you, I guess a kid that age, that’s a little tough for him to understand. You get the first one and then a whole slew of them.”

    In a matter of weeks, Anzalone picked up offers from schools like Notre Dame, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Alabama, Penn State, Oklahoma, Stanford, North Carolina and Pittsburgh among several others. It seemed like college coaches from across the country were recognizing what Wolfrum had known for a while almost simultaneously.

    “He’s got good size,” the coach said. “He’s every bit of 6-3. When coaches come in, that’s what they look to see. He’s 6-3, 220 pounds and he can run. He just understands leverage. He plays low and likes to hit people. He’s not a nasty kid, but he likes contact. The other thing he has is that he understands the game real well.

    “He’s football smart besides being smart in school.”

    Anzalone didn’t always look the part of an elite-level BCS prospect though.

    “When he was a sophomore, he was only 165 pounds and he was still one of our best players,” said Wolfrum.

    “In the offseason, he works with a trainer and a nutrition guy. He put on 40 pounds from sophomore to junior year and gained speed and obviously strength.”

    Anzalone is also a standout away from the field.

    “He’s an Ivy League-type of student and he’s pretty quiet,” said Wolfrum. “A lot of times a kid gets all that kind of attention and the rest of the kids get jealous of it, but that’s not the case here. He’s a leader, he’s been elected one of our captains for next year and the kids all respect him and are happy for him.”

    While Anzalone is being looked at primarily as a defensive player, some schools have flirted with the idea of playing him on offense.

    “A lot of the staffs that I talk with, most of them are looking at him as a linebacker, but a few of them talk offense,” said Wolfrum. “I’m not quite sure myself how they decide offense and defense. There seems to be a split with some of the staffs and some of the staffs, there seems to be a split within the staff. The defense wants him, but so does the offense. I don’t know how they figure that out.”

    The Irish have talked about the possibility of him playing running back for them and Wolfrum believes Anzalone could definitely succeed on offense in college.

    “I know a whole bunch of them are looking at defense, but he’s a heck of an offensive player too,” Wolfrum said. “He accelerates really well; he cuts really well for a kid his size. I, myself, think he can be a good offensive player.”

    Anzalone has hit the road in recent weeks, making stops at Penn State, Florida and most recently Notre Dame. He’ll head out West this week to see UCLA, Stanford and USC.

    April 21st will be a key date for those following Anzalone’s recruitment. Three schools high on his list – Notre Dame, Penn State and Ohio State – will all be having their spring games that day and he plans on being at one. That day, Anzalone has said, will provide a pretty clear indication of the way he views the schools.


    It could also be the day he ends his recruitment. We’ll see.
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  4. #14
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    Scout.com: Alex Anzalone: Marecic 2.0?

    One of the most highly recruited players in the country spent most of last week visiting three schools on the West Coast. Four-star Pennsylvania LB/RB Alex Anzalone visited Stanford, USC, and UCLA, and spent much of his visit in Palo Alto.

    Alex Anzalone spent all day Monday, April 2 in Palo Alto, and returned to Stanford on Wednesday night after a brief Southern California swing.
    “On Monday, we got [to Stanford] early in the morning,” Anzalone said. “We sat through some meetings. I sat through some offensive meetings first and then I spent time with the coaches. Then we watched practice.

    “We came back Wednesday night. We spent the day there Thursday and did some more things in-depth and did more academic stuff.”

    “Friday was the Junior Day. We saw some of the same things we saw the previous days. We saw all of the things again, and they took me and my mom aside and went in-depth about what is actually in the books of the strength program and what people are doing. I also got to watch a workout and hang out with some players. It was a good time.”

    Anzalone, who spent time with fellow Pennsylvania native Kevin Reihner, in addition to other players including Blake Lueders and Brett Nottingham, said that he felt he meshed well with the current Stanford players.

    “I think I fit in,” Anzalone said. “They’re all pretty well-rounded kids. They care about their academics and so do I, so I think I fit in.”

    The Stanford coaches reiterated in meetings on the visit that Anzalone would have his choice of playing as a running back or linebacker.

    “They said it’s really up to me,” Anzalone said. “I actually believe them when they say that because I know they’ve had players go both ways and do all of that crazy stuff, so I know they’d do what I like best. But I know Coach Sanford and Coach Kotulski and Coach Anderson that they all want me just as bad on each side of the ball. I think it’s just up to me. I truly believe that.”

    Owen Marecic went from a two-star signee to a fourth-round NFL pick on the Farm, where, his senior year, he became the first college football player in decades to start at linebacker and fullback. Perhaps the Stanford coaching staff sees Anzalone in the same mold. At any rate, spending so much time in Palo Alto certainly allowed Anzalone to form a solid connection with several members of the staff.

    “I’m really comfortable around them,” Anzalone said. “I really got to get to know all of the coaches and I spent a lot of time with them. I think we’re all pretty comfortable with each other.”

    During the visit, Anzalone and the other Junior Day visitors got to meet one of Stanford’s ace recruiters, former Secretary of State and current Stanford professor Condoleeza Rice. The recruits also met with outside linebackers coach/admissions liaison Lance Anderson to discuss the Stanford application process.

    Once he sets his senior year schedule, Anzalone hopes to begin the application process.

    “We got to meet with Coach Anderson, because I know he is the liaison to the administration, and they said I won’t have any problems getting in,” Anzalone said. “I know once I figure out my senior schedule I’d be able to apply in the next couple of weeks and find out. It would be pretty cool to know that I got into Stanford, and if I did commit it would be an actual commit and I wouldn’t have to worry about getting in. I probably want to get that out of the way ASAP.”

    Anzalone said that the highlights of his multi-day trip to The Farm included learning more about the power of a Stanford degree, spending time with the players and coaches, and taking in a few Cardinal practices.

    “Definitely learning about what the Stanford degree can do for you, and also it was great meeting the coaches,” Anzalone said. “They’re all great people, and they’re all really nice and family men. It was good just being around the players and seeing how I would fit in, and watching practice and seeing who I would potentially compete with. It was an overall great experience.”

    One of the potential things working against Stanford in its pursuit of Anzalone is the athlete’s stated desire to graduate high school and enroll at a college early, a practice Stanford doesn’t allow. Anzalone is aware of Stanford’s early enrollment policy and said that it wouldn’t impact his ultimate choice, but he did say he would prefer to enroll in college early.

    “Obviously at Stanford they don’t do that,” Anzalone said. “I’d like to do that, but there are tradeoffs. There are some pros and cons. I don’t think it would affect my decision too much, but if I want to do that then I think that I will wherever I go.”

    Despite an erroneous report earlier in the week that listed Stanford, Ohio State, USC, Florida and Penn State as Anzalone’s top five, the four-star recruit currently denies holding any favorites.

    “I think everyone is pretty even,” Anzalone said. “I’m starting to narrow it down but I didn’t come out with a top five yet.” Still, Anzalone said that he could make a commitment sooner than later, and that he “definitely” wants to decide before the start of his senior season.

    “I think I’ll play it by ear,” Anzalone said. “I guess it’s just when you get the feeling. And I mean, even along with that, it’s when you get tired of the recruiting process. I don’t know, it may be sooner than later, but I think I definitely want to do it before the season, but I don’t know. We’ll see.”

    Anzalone, who will visit Penn State for a practice this weekend and then attend a to-be-determined spring game on Apr. 21, hasn’t ruled out the possibility of making a return trip to Stanford.

    “I’m not sure,” Anzalone said. “I haven’t talked to my parents about it. I may go this summer if I want to see it again.”
    All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract themfrom achieving their aims.

    - Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame football coach

  5. #15
    Moderator zimmsbg78's Avatar
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    Alex will unofficially visit pOSU for there spring game this weekend.

  6. #16
    Senior Member NDgrandson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zimmsbg78 View Post
    Alex will unofficially visit pOSU for there spring game this weekend.
    Next

  7. #17
    Senior Member SouthernIrish's Avatar
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    agreed. not really getting the warm and fuzzies from him. too bad. would ahve been a great asset.
    If you're Lucky enough to be Irish, then you're Lucky enough.

  8. #18
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    o$u


    IRISH GUARD-GH Division

  9. #19
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    De-committed per ISD's twitter. What's going on? Is Heuerman in his ear?

    a little noise about Joey Bosa too, but that seems too uncertain to get excited about yet.

  10. #20
    Moderator zimmsbg78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChicagoIrish View Post
    De-committed per ISD's twitter. What's going on? Is Heuerman in his ear?

    a little noise about Joey Bosa too, but that seems too uncertain to get excited about yet.
    Yes, Anzalone has de-commited from pOSU. Here's the twitter post on ISD........

    Alex Anzalone: "I decommitted from (#OSU)...right now I'm digesting everything." #ND #Stanford #USC #Florida #PennSt

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