Now, he is one of the hottest recruits in the nation, with offers from schools across the country and a suddenly hectic spring travel schedule as schools drool over the 6-foot-3, 220-pounder who is being recruited to play running back and outside linebacker.
"I guess coaches are sitting down and watching my film," Anzalone said. "I know a lot of coaches don't even look at how many offers I have before they offer, and that's a good thing because I know they're offering because they actually want me."
Anzalone holds more than 30 offers and is getting ready to embark on an ambitious unofficial visit schedule for the spring, and he has already been to Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State and Rutgers.
"Next weekend I'm going to Florida," he said. "I'm going to be there Thursday, Friday, Saturday and the next week is Notre Dame and the weekend of (March 31) is Ohio State. I think the first week of April, which is my spring break, we're going to California."
The offer from the Trojans also struck a chord with Anzalone.
"USC was pretty cool because they offered me, a linebacker all the way in Pennsylvania, and they're all the way in Los Angeles," he said. "That was pretty crazy. I know they have a great football program, and their academics are very good because it's a private school."
The visits to the California schools will provide Anzalone with his first look at the programs.
"I know UCLA's academics are very good. Obviously, it's a really nice part of California," Anzalone said. "Stanford, they like me as tailback. They think I could be like a Toby Gerhart kind of guy. They say I'm faster. It's pretty much an Ivy League education and the campus is supposed to be very nice."
Anzalone also provided a breakdown on the schools he will visit in the next few weeks.
"I always wanted to go to a Florida game for my birthday, but I never got a chance to," he said. "I know it's a really good school for a public school. My dad went to medical school there so he knows all about it. The football program is in the SEC, and you can't get much better than that."
Florida is recruiting Anzalone to play outside linebacker, but the Irish like him as a running back.
"Academic-wise it's really, really good," Anzalone said. "It's a meaningful degree. I know the program hasn't been great the last couple of years, but I hear it's really nice there."
A school that will get another spring visit as well is Penn State, where Anzalone's brother is a student. Anzalone was on campus last month for junior day, and it went very well and he is set to return this weekend.
"It was really nice," Anzalone said. "I've been there before because my brother goes there. State College is a unique place. It's unique in a good way. The coaching staff was cool. I was happy to meet all of them.
"They pretty much took us in a separate van and the coaches pretty much drove us around. It was special treatment."
Anzalone said he already started trimming his list in his mind, which he tells coaches after offers are made. However, he is not making it public which schools are not making the cut.
"I'm just honest and tell (schools) if I have genuine interest in them," he said. "I talk to my parents and see if it's a place I want to visit, and if it is, we make it work."
Anzalone made 54 tackles from his linebacker position and scored 13 touchdowns and averaged 11.6 yards per carry as a running back.
"I think I want to make a decision before the season," he said. "I will have to trim down the list because I can't look at them all."