While roaming through the halls of any high school throughout the country, a 5-foot-11, 145-pound freshman would hardly stand out. Especially if you're looking for football prospects. But that's exactly what Anthony Giudice was when he entered Monroe Township High School as a young, wide-eyed ninth grader. It was especially difficult to stand out amongst a student body of over 1,600.
Despite the less than ideal size, Giudice had a dream of playing college football. Nothing would stop him from pursuing that goal, and so he did what he does best. He worked. Hard.
"I knew I had to get a lot bigger," Giudice said. "So I started going to my trainer a lot. I gained a lot of weight and got up to about 205, 210 by my sophomore year. I was going speed and quickness in addition to gaining a lot of size and strength."
His growth from a freshman to a sophomore was quite remarkable. He added over 60-pounds of muscle to his frame, a testament to the same work ethic he displays during every snap on the football field. All of his work in the gym was paying off as he transformed his body.
Without an offer during the summer leading up to his junior campaign, Giudice traveled to Central New York to participate in one of Syracuse's summer camps. He had the opportunity to work with defensive line coach Tim Daoust. The two developed instant chemistry with Daoust's intensity and Giudice feeding off of that.
Using the feedback he received during that camp, Giudice went back to work in his offseason training program.
That work paid off entering his junior year as well, as Giudice bulked up to 235-pounds. The added weight from his own strength and conditioning program, along with increased height, allowed him to play defensive end.
Giudice had his most productive season in his new frame. He finished with 10.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. It was after that season that a family member was speaking to a school in a completely different state about his ability.
"My cousin is friends with coach Kevin Driscoll, the previous head coach at Avon," Giudice said. "My cousin played hockey there a while ago. One day he showed coach Driscoll my highlight tape. Coach Driscoll gave me a call and we decided to visit up there. I just felt it was a great opportunity with great coaches with coach Driscoll and the current head coach Bill Mella."
So now Giudice was a student at Avon Old Farms in Connecticut. There is always an adjustment period whenever there is a big change like the one Giudice made at the beginning of the year. He believes, however, things are going quite well and is he excited about his senior season.
"I believe the transition has gone pretty well," Giudice said. "The first week or so was a little hard because I missed my mom's cooking and stuff. After that, I got adjusted with schoolwork, running and lifting. I gained about 30 pounds (up to 265) and I know we're going to have a great season."
Giudice was still without an offer, but was as confident as ever in his abilities. He got back in touch with Syracuse and things only progressed from there. In May, that progression resulted in an offer. It was Giudice's first, and a sign that his hard work over the previous three years had paid off. Not only had he grown four inches, but he added well over 100-pounds to his frame.
That was one of many reasons why the Orange wanted him to be a part of their program. Things moved quickly once the offer was extended.
"I got into contact with coach Bullough," Giudice said. "He was the one who was recruiting me. Then I took the visit and I met with coach Shafer, coach Bullough and Daoust. They were just great guys so it's going to be fun."
Giudice returned home as the newest member of Syracuse's 2015 class. He says, his recruitment is closed and he will not be looking at other schools. So once again, Giudice will go to work.
Back to the training program that took him from a small, 145-pound freshman to a 260-pound division one prospect. Back to the program that helped him realize his dream.
"I go to the gym every day," Giudice said. "I work out with my trainer. He's been able to work with me to keep up my conditioning while getting bigger. It's just all from hard work."
Giudice expects to be between 270 and 275-pounds when he steps on the Syracuse campus as a freshman. Nearly double his weight as a high school freshman.