2011 Intro: Stephone Anthony

WADESBORO, N.C. --- Stephone Anthony is quickly assembling one of the most impressive scholarship offer lists in the country and shining a spotlight on the community.

"Here in Anson County, football is a big thing to the community – especially the way the economy is," Hyatt said. "We don't have a lot of businesses popping up. So any time we get a lot of attention for one of our kids, it helps the whole high school out."

Schools from coast-to-coast have inquired about Anthony.

"Football-wise, he's 6-3, 220 [pounds], runs a 4.58 [second 40-yard dash], and is a great football player," Hyatt said. "He can do things that some other kids can do.

"But the bonus is: he's just such a great person. I tell coaches that there are no red flags with Stephone. I told someone the other day that if either one of my kids grow up to be like Stephone Anthony, I'm going to be a pretty proud daddy. He's always where he's supposed to be, he carries a 3.3 core grade-point average, and all his coaches love him."

In Anson's base 3-4 defense, Anthony lines up at one of the inside linebacker positions. On occasions when the defense is in a 4-3 formation, he's the weak-side outside linebacker.

Regardless of where he lines up, Anthony is the quarterback of Anson's defense.

"He's one of those kids that you can line him up anywhere on defense – he just has a knack for the ball," Hyatt said. "He's so long, he runs to the football. He makes the calls on the defense – he's just a good football player."

Anthony, who will be a four-year starter on defense this fall, has 18 career interceptions.

Offensively, Anthony is a key reserve. When in the huddle, he's bound to line up anywhere in the backfield – tailback, fullback, and even at quarterback in the wildcat formation.

"There in the beginning of the season, if we got inside the 20 [yard line], pretty much [we said] ‘Let's get him in the ball game,' because it seemed like every time he touched the ball he turned on the magic," Hyatt said. "At mid-season we got on a run and didn't use him quite as much. And then playoff time when it's all laying on the line whenever we needed him, we used him."

Anthony's scholarship offer total is close to 20 schools. Among the schools to offer are Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.

"I just want to sit back and enjoy the ride and try not to let my head get too big," Anthony said.

Anthony doesn't have a solid list of favorite schools. But three schools have caught his eye.

"Right now, if I had a favorite it would probably be Florida or Virginia Tech or Clemson," Anthony said. "It's still wide open for me. I want to take my time with this thing."

By the end of the summer, Anthony plans to have his list of options narrowed down to five schools. He'll officially visit all five schools and then make his collegiate announcement at the Under Armour All-American Game, which he's also accepted the invitation to play in.

Before narrowing his list, Anthony will continue to visit schools. He has already visited Clemson, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech. This spring, he hopes to revisit Virginia Tech and make inaugural visits to Florida, UNC, and NC State.

Anthony recently spoke to Sam Pittman, UNC's area recruiter, about a possible visit to Chapel Hill.

"I would love to, because they're building new facilities and it would be nice to see them," Anthony said.

A couple weeks back, Pittman visited Anson County High School and observed Anthony in wrestling practice.

"I really haven't heard much from [UNC]," Anthony said. "[Pittman] has came and seen me twice. I would like to build some interest there, because it's in-state, it's close to home, and it's probably the best school in North Carolina."

Besides Pittman, Anthony has had conversations with Virginia Tech's Kevin Sherman and Florida's D.J. Durkin.

In addition to wrestling, Anthony catches for Anson's baseball team.

Stephone Anthony Profile

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