Catching Up with Alex Anzalone

By Alex on February 15, 2012 at 1:00p
Urban has got BLINGAnzalone was impressed with Urban Meyer and OSU

You heard from an "under the radar" linebacker prospect today in Marcus Oliver, who told you that Tim Hinton said Ohio State was looking to offer and take commitments from the best two players at the position in the country.

While Oliver has some work to do to put himself in that position, one player who the staff feels is worthy of such a honor also came to campus this weekend in Wyomissing (PA) Area LB Alex Anzalone.

Anzalone, standing at 6-3/220, is one of Pennsylvania's best prospects in the class of 2013. He had 11 offers, all coming since Signing Day, heading into his trip to Columbus this past weekend, where he was hoping to get a better look at what Ohio State had to offer, as well as reel in offer number 12 from Urban Meyer.

Anzalone accomplished both of those goals, leaving Columbus with that coveted offer and coming away very impressed with what the Buckeyes could potentially provide him down the road. While it may take a little bit of time to make his college decision, OSU is definitely on Anzalone's mind and seems to be in a good position to have a chance to land him when that time comes.

We got the chance to sit down with Alex to discuss his recruitment, what he did during his visit, his plans for the future, and more. Join us after the jump to catch up with one of the nation's best junior linebackers, Alex Anzalone.

How did your junior season go? How did your team do and how did your perform individually?

My junior season went really well. My team went undefeated through the regular season but unfortunately lost to the state champs by one touchdown in the district final. I received all-state linebacker honors, all-county linebacker honors, and all-section honors for linebacker and running back. 

How is recruiting going? What offers do you have at this time?

Recruiting has been a whirlwind so far. Since National Signing Day, I've had 12 offers and counting. They are from Northwestern, Boston College, Temple, Maryland, Rutgers, Purdue, Syracuse, Virginia, Florida, Michigan State, Ohio State, and UConn. 

You went to OSU's junior day on February 12. What did you do while in Columbus and how did you enjoy the visit?

While in Columbus, my family and I went to the basketball game against Michigan State on Saturday night. We have friends that live in Columbus so after that we went out to dinner. Sunday was the Junior Day so we enjoyed that. 

Where are some of the places you have gone on visits? What other visits do you have planned?

I've visited Boston College, Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland, and UConn. I'm planning on visiting Virginia, Florida, Alabama (once they offer), and a couple of others. I also plan on getting back on to campus to some of the schools I've visited. 

You were offered by Coach Meyer while in Columbus. What did he say to you and how did it feel to get that offer?

Coach Meyer seemed to be a great guy, a class act. He told me how he would love for me to apart of the Buckeye family and that's when he extended the offer. It felt amazing getting an offer from Ohio State, especially from Coach Meyer.

What other coaches did you speak to? What did they say to you?

On the trip I spent most of my time with Coach Fickell. I also met other coaches. They were all impressed with how I played and also liked my size.

What did you like most about your OSU visit? Do you plan to get back there at all?

Everyone has nice things so when I go on these trips, I focus on the atmosphere and people that are around the program. That is what impressed me the most with OSU. I plan on going back soon to meet with some players and watch spring practice. 

When do you expect to make a college decision? Do you have a list of "top schools" at this point?

I want to make my decision before the season in the fall. I'm not sure when this will be though. I'm open to all schools as of now.

What is most important to you when making your college decision?

It may sound cliche, but academics are definitely number one. Whether it be the quality of academics or the academic support a school has to offer, it's definitely number one for me.

What are your strengths on the football field? 

I believe my strengths are my ability to make plays on both sides of the ball. Many schools are offering on both sides of the ball so I guess that shows that I am pretty athletic.



Comments Show All Comments

bassplayer7770's picture

This kid's video did impress me.  Thanks for sharing this interview with us.

ThirdLegLouie's picture

I like his film. All of these kids seem to give pretty solid interviews/ well spoken/ etc. Probably not going to have a clear picture of who is in or out until after the camps. 

Staff is only taking 2 LBs in this class. Gotta think Jaylon Smith is priority #1 and someone I feel good about as long as Rod's situation doesn't change. Wonder who is going to get that coveted #2 spot. 

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

dubjayfootball90's picture

nice video, I like this kid

You can feed a bobcat all the chili it wants. That don't mean it's going to crap out diamonds.

notoriouswojo's picture

The video you have all showed us allow me to explain what I see. 


Terrelle Pryor....who can tackle. 

The breakaway stride in the open field is just staggering. 

BTwrestle04's picture

Don't ever make that comparison again. (vomit)

GABuckeye's picture

I hate to say it, but that stiff arm was pryor-esque.  I think that is what he was referring to.

notoriouswojo's picture

I could care less about what TP did. I have moved on, everyone else should too. We are in a better place than we ever thought we would be when we were looking to the future after the Sugar Bowl. 

Was I talking about the stiff arm...yes. But I was talking more about the open field stride the kid has when he seems like he's going to get tackled for for what should be a 5 or 6 yard run and he turns it into 50 yd run. 

BrewstersMillions's picture

What part of 30 plus wins over three years, three big ten titles, 3 wins over Michigan (all crushing and decisive) and 2 BCS wins made you vomit? Or is it still cool to hate on Pryor?

While I'm at it-Beanie's stiff arm pailed in comparison to TP's. Now that is like trying to compare a jack hammer to a piston but still...

flipbuckeye's picture

While I'm at it-Beanie's stiff arm pailed in comparison to TP's.


BrewstersMillions's picture

Oh wow. I never thought of it that way. Again-both guys had great stiff arms but I'll take Pryors.

SPreston2001's picture

Ill take either one of them, but Pryor had one of the meanest stiff arms in college football.

AJBor41's picture

Technically 1 BCS win, and I think that leads right into the "vomit" part of his statement.  We'd be able to say it was 2 BCS wins, if he and some teammates had made better decisions.



BrewstersMillions's picture

Well he was 'technically' one of the best QB's that's ever played at OSU and since I couldnt really care less what football players do other than play football, I'll stand by my opinion.

AJBor41's picture

No argument there, only that your comment was not correct.  It's 1 BCS win. 

Pryor was definitely one of the best QBs that's ever worn the scarlet and gray.

Todd-Not Boeckmann's picture

Funny.  I just watched two BCS wins on my DVR.  The way I view it, just because some accountant says it diden't happen because he has a magic eraser, doesn't mean I didn't watch it, revel in it, and celebrate it.  It happened.

beanie's stiff arm was better.

On the wall guarding the North Coast from all Weasel invasions.

AJBor41's picture

Agreed.  Obviously I watched it too, but there's no way I'd ever give TSUN credit for their "Fab Five" Final Fours since they broke the rules and had them taken away, so I have to man up and do the same.  That was nice to finally beat the SEC...even if I must have dreamed the entire thing.

btalbert25's picture

I liked TP a lot and still do really, but I've never seen a stiff arm at any level of the sport of football that compared to Beanies.  Watch some of the YouTube clips.  There were guys he stiff armed that I almost felt sorry for.  Other dudes he just decided to push on into the endzone.  He didn't just do it against guys from Akron either, there were guys on LSU's D  that he vicitimized. 

BuckeyeSki's picture

StiffArmofJustice. Without it, Pryor doesn't learn how to properly do it himself, and resorts to running out of bounds more. Pryor's stiffarm was nice in his frosh season, but nothing special. Soph and Junior tho, well, IMHO that was all Beanie showing him whats up.

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

buckeyechad's picture

My favorite was the Wisky player he pushes 10 yards into the endzone with him. 

AJBor41's picture

A personal favorite as well.  Also loved the one against, I want to say Washington, where Beanie lowers the shoulder near the sideline and the DB flies about 5 yards back.

flipbuckeye's picture

I very much remember that stiff arm he unleashed on LSU DB Chevis Jackson, who was 1st team All-SEC and who I remember being slobbered over by the commentators. Dude went flying.

I can't link to the youtube video at work, but lexco44 still has the Beanie Stiff Arm video up, in case people have forgotten just how lethal it was.

Pryor has had a few good stiff arms here and there, but they were nowhere near as punishing, and he often couldn't stay on his feet afterwards.

btalbert25's picture

There were times where I kind of that he may knock the defenders head off. There was a game vs Minnesota where several of there defenders were nearly decapitated.

RBuck's picture

Yep. Beanie just basically threw would-be tacklers to to ground.

Long live the southend.

BrewstersMillions's picture

Am I the only one who remembers no one getting within 3 feet of Pryor's body when he used his stiff arm? Beanie's was more punch than stiff arm. It was fun to watch, it was not fun to receive. Pryor would use what appears to be a 9 foot arm to keep guys away. It was the flashy BANG that Beanie had but it worked just fine. Did TP launch guys? No not even close. But when TP got his hand on someone, they got no where near his body. And that's what a stiff arm is for. Can it be a weapon like Beanie had? Of course. But I don't ever remember Pryor getting tackled when he got a hand on someone. Hence my point.

William's picture

Pryor's best stiffarms came against Oregon, he had two that game that were just lethal. On one he shoved the safety into the turf, and the other was when the LB came flying at Pryor and Pryor pushed him down into the ground and kept going. That being said, I too think Wells had the best stiffarm. he absolutely destroyed guys. The DBs from Washington and Akron were thrown 5 plus yards and I remember him driving the guy from Wisky ten yards and into the endzone. Watch Lexco's clip.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I'm still a big Pryor fan!!! The kid was awesome and absolutely destroyed opponents on the field. All of the other sh!t was just noice and a minor violation in the eyes of the NCAA!  Remember folks, it was Tressel that blew this up into the fiasco level! 

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

btalbert25's picture

I often sit and think, what would that kid have been able to accomplish had he had a coach like Meyer.  I know he said he wanted to go into more of a prostyle offense and all that, but my god Meyer turned Tebow into a first round pick.  Pryor with a coach like Meyer, Chip Kelly, yes even DickRod or Brian Kelly would've been scary good.

btalbert25's picture

Maybe not Brian Kelly lol.

SPreston2001's picture

Tres definetely held TP back! I loved JT but I just wished he would have taken the training wheels of his players and let them play!

FUqUespin's picture

"... i've got a baby arm stiffy..."

  - Beavis

SPreston2001's picture

Your still mad about the TP situation?? To be honest I was never really mad at the guy. He wasnt the only one getting tats and you cant argue what he brought to the team. His stiff arm was crazy!!

Maestro's picture

Man, they love the end around play.

vacuuming sucks

BTwrestle04's picture

I believe that's a Wing T offense.

TheRobot's picture

You are correct, it is a Wing-T. Never liked it but they make it work.

Northbrook's picture

Looked good at all aspects but is exceptional catching the ball. LB or H Back.

buckeyepastor's picture

I like watching this kid.  Good vision with the ball in his hands, long stride, deceptive speed, excellent pursuit, runs through the ball carrier when tackling.  Only down-side is on a lot of plays he starts out of position.  Looked like his speed and athleticism bailed him out several times.   If his football IQ comes along, which it should, he can be a real asset.  

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

Alex's picture

He is a LB all the you can see the trend is recruiting FAST and ATHLETIC kids at the position...I think this is why McCray hasn't gotten an offer as they aren't sold on this from him yet

partisan's picture

I'm thinking H back too

Irricoir's picture

Very few videos since Marcus have impressed me. This one fits the bill. The speed and power combination is outstanding. A man this big that can run with that much speed is phenomenal. I know we aren't looking for a tailback but I have to comment that his vision is excellent as well. I consider myself a good evaluator of talent. I see a lot of nice film but the intangibles on this guy are amazing. We have to have him.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

AJBor41's picture

It looks like I may be in the minority, but I see an exceptional athlete, but someone that needs work on tackling.  It looked like an overwhelming amount of arm tackling in this video, and not a lot of hitting, wrapping, and driving.  Granted, a large part of that could be because he was shown in pass coverage a great deal.  However, with the coaching staff in place, I'd rather start with the athlete and mold him into a hard-hitting LB, than begin with a good LB with limited athletic abilities.

btalbert25's picture

Exactly, technique can be taught and tweaked, but you're either a great athlete or you are not. 

Buckeye in Athens's picture

Loved him lowering his shoulder around the 49 second mark

RecruitBuck's picture

He was just offered by Alabama.

johnblairgobucks's picture

Speaking of all time best stiff-arms, Florida State's RB Greg Jones is tops.  YouTube dude and watch the one where he knocks the Tar Heel DB's helmet 5 yards in the air.

buckeyedude's picture

That is one seriously fast white dude. I wonder what his 40 time is?