Pirate Prospects: Anthony Garner

Anthony Garner just might be North Carolina's top defensive tackle in the 2008 class. Here's your chance to catch the Siler City (NC) Jordan-Matthews star in action!

Name: Anthony Garner
Hometown: Siler City, North Carolina
High School: Jordan-Matthews High School
Position: Defensive Tackle
Vitals: 6'0.5/300/5.0

NOTES: While visiting one local school, an assistant coach made a suggestion on which player might be the best in the region.

"Have you had a chance to check out the defensive tackle at Jordan-Matthews yet," the assistant asked. "If not, go down there and see Anthony Garner. He's a rising senior and plays three sports for them... I even think he plays tennis.

"When we played them, he was a one-man wrecking crew. Garner was almost impossible for us to block... he caused us problems all night long."

Garner didn't just do it to this team. The 6-foot-1, 295-pound defensive tackle ripped up opposing offensive lines, as he finished his junior season with 90 tackles, 23 tackles for a loss, and 13 sacks. Jordan-Matthews tallied an 11-2 record with a loss in the playoffs at Cherryville. Although his stats jump out, Garner admits he can do better.

"I did alright, but I could have went harder on every play," said Garner. "That's what I want to work on. Every play I want to get to that quarterback. That's what I'm trying to do on every play. I use my feet and strength to push the lineman into the backfield so I can get to the quarterback."

Jordan-Matthews High is a small school in Siler City, North Carolina that plays in the 1-A Yadkin Valley Conference. Garner's coaches knew schools wouldn't be real familiar with him early on, so they just started sending out film from his junior season and the response has been positive. Although no official offers have been mailed out, NC State, North Carolina, East Carolina, and Tennessee are all in pursuit.

Garner attended Junior Days at NC State and East Carolina, and he hopes to check out North Carolina and Tennessee in the near future. He has named the Wolfpack his early favorite.

"I like State," said Garner. "State is my #1 right now. Tennessee, I like them. I don't know much about them yet, but they are recruiting me. I want to get up there and check them out... I know watching them on TV they are always hyped up."

"I just like being up there," he said about NC State. "I like the campus and everything about it. They told me that they are going to work with me. I went up there and met the new coaches, and they really like me. Each coach wrote something to me and they told me how much they wanted me up there."

Garner headed up to Greenville for East Carolina's annual Junior Day.

"It was alright," he said. "I liked it. It was pretty cool... everybody was up there. I met one dude from Northwood, Kemory Mann. I talked to him... I think he's their offensive guard."

COACH QUOTE: "He makes some big-time plays. Sometimes the guy in front of him just has no shot of blocking him. He'll just go right through him. There are times when he's really dominant, and nobody really blocked him well all year.

I think he moves real well for a guy that has his kind of size. He's between 290 and 300 pounds, and he has really good feet and great lateral movement. He is very strong, but his natural athleticism and quickness stick out. We don't play him both ways, but I think he would be a great offensive lineman because of how well he moves. Like I said earlier, he can be dominant.

"Sometimes he's like a lot of big kids when he doesn't play hard all the time, but when he brings it there is nobody in our league that can handle him one-on-one. There's times he just busts through there right at the snap, and you will see that on the film." -- Jordan-Matthews Head Coach Marty Scotten

SCOUTING REPORT: "At 6-1, 300 pounds, Anthony Garner may not have ideal height but there's no doubt he possesses basically every other attribute you're looking for in a defensive tackle. Because of his quickness and speed, at times you think you're watching a linebacker on film.

"Garner has tremendous explosion off the line of scrimmage and it's nearly impossible for most high school offensive linemen to stop him. He is extremely disruptive in opposing backfields and shows good instincts and reaction time. Garner also does a superb job of shedding blockers- even when he's double and triple teamed. However, there's no question that speed and agility are Garner's strongest suits.

"It's unusual to see a player his size move the way he does. In fact, his game is quite similar to that of Aleric Mullins now at UNC. It's obvious that Garner's time on the tennis court has paid off on the gridiron." -- Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams

DT #64 Anthony Garner Video 1 -

DT #64 Anthony Garner Video 2 -

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