When your brother is the first pick taken in the 2007 NBA draft, it casts a rather large shadow.
Good thing football prospect Anthony Oden – the younger brother of Greg Oden – casts a big one right back.
Lawrence (Ind.) North tight end/defensive end Anthony Oden – all 6-8, 280 pounds of him – took in the University of Arkansas-Florida International game in Fayetteville on Saturday as an unofficial guest of the Razorbacks.
"I am definitely interested in Arkansas," Oden said right before the Razorbacks' 58-10 win. "I love this school. They have great facilities, everything's nice and the coaches are real cool. I think this is a great place. I could see myself at for college."
Arkansas joins Ohio State – his brother's old school – Indiana, Purdue, Cincinnati, Akron, Marshall, North Carolina State, and Purdue as schools interested in Oden and him in them.
"There's a bunch of them," Oden said. "I am just really getting started looking at the recruiting part of things, but I can tell you this is a place I am very impressed with."
He attended the game with family friend Steven Conley, the former Razorback and NFL football player and the brother of former Razorback track star Mike Conley.
Conley, who coached both of the Oden brothers in AAU ball and is now Greg's agent, is in the process of moving back to Fayetteville.
"Those guys are great guys and if I came here, it would be nice to have them around," Oden said.
The younger Oden has also played basketball in the past and shined on the court.
But he is all about the gridiron now – albeit his season ended last week.
"I am not going to play basketball this year," Oden said. "I am going to concentrate on football and just get bigger, stronger and faster."
Lawrence North finished the season 3-7 with a playoff loss to Warren Central on Oct. 19.
"We had an off year, a hard time getting together and lost a lot of confidence," Oden said. "But we ended up coming together and stayed after it until the end."
He played on both sides of the field this season for North, a school he also played his sophomore season at before transferring to Dayton (Ohio) Dunbar while his brother was at nearby Ohio State.
He likes playing both tight end and defensive end and says his position in college will be up to his coach and not him.
"I will play wherever the coach needs me," Oden said. "I just love the game of football and will line up wherever they need to get me on the field."
He says that watching Greg go through the recruiting process has helped as does having seen the work ethic it took for him to make it to the NBA.
"It's pretty good," Oden said. "It's helping me out a lot. It might get a little stressful sometimes, but it is helping me out because I know what I need to do to succeed on that level. Even though it is a different sport, it lets me know how hard I have to work."
He notes that Greg wishes he was able to help Portland – his new NBA team which starts the season this week – but a knee injury will have him out this season.
"It is kind of stressful for him," Oden said. "He was determined to go out there and play. But he can turn it into a positive because he will only get bigger and stronger and better while he is getting ready to play."
The Younger Oden
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