Junior Profile - Akeem Anthony

At 5-6 and 160 pounds, Akeem Anthony has some explaining to do. Just how is it that the star running back from Lakewood (Wash.) Lakes racks up so much yardage? How does he elude tacklers so easily? They are questions he's had to answer his whole life.

"I have to show 'em," Akeem told Dawgman.com when faced with the inevitable questions posed by critics. "I can't tell them. I know I can play at the D1 level."

There's no question he's been putting those questions to rest the past two seasons for the Lancers, leading Lakes in rushing since he was a sophomore. "I feel like I had a pretty good season," he said when asked about last year. "The one game I couldn't play in I had a sprained ankle. Anthony (Russo) came in and had a good game."

Despite missing that one game, Akeem still ran for 1600 yards and scored 26 touchdowns, impressive digits indeed. He did it using his 4.4 speed and vision. He also did it using a work ethic ingrained in him after countless after-hours sessions, something taught to him by current Husky and former teammate of Anthony's, Reggie Williams.

"He taught me to always work hard, no matter what," Akeem said. "Even if I have to stay after-hours and practice and work alone on the field. Whatever it takes."

Does he still talk to Williams? "I call Reggie up every week," he said. "I ask him how school is. He tells me to keep my grades up. I ask him how it is up there."

Those after-hours sessions also have spilled over to the weight room, where Anthony boasts a 285-pound bench, 520-pound squat and 250-pound power clean. To further emphasize his athleticism, Akeem also runs track. He runs the 100 meters for the Lancers, and his personal best is 10.9. He is looking to better his personal long jump mark as well. Right now it stands at 21-8, but he knows he'll bust that number wide open this spring.

You might think Akeem has a chip on his shoulder, always having to prove himself over and over to those that think size is everything, but his motivations run much deeper than that. You only need to point to last year's humbling playoff loss to Lynden and you'll see it all right there in black and white. Simply put, Anthony isn't going to let it happen again. "At least they went to the final game but we should have had that one," he said.

His teammates will be watching him, too. "I lead by example, not too vocal," he said about his leadership style. "I try to lead the best way I know how, by always working hard, going through drills one-hundred percent, just like a game."

On the recruiting front, Akeem is getting letters from Washington, Nebraska, Washington State and UCLA, claiming not to have a leader that this point. "I'm wide open," he said.

He did, however, accept an invitation to visit the Huskies a couple of weeks back. "I went to the junior day and it was nice," Anthony said. "The facilities were really nice. They looked expensive. The coaches were pretty cool. They were funny and nice. Coach Neuheisel cracked a couple of jokes, but Coach Hart was funnier. He was cool the whole time I was there."

Akeem has already started thinking about what he's going to do this summer. "I think I might go to the Nike camp in Oregon," he said. "I might also try to go to the one at Stanford too. Our team camp is at Eastern (Washington) again and I think I'm going to go to the U-Dub camp too."

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