Catching Up with Alex Anzalone: Nearing The End

By Alex on April 12, 2012 at 4:00p
Red carpet was rolled out for AnzaloneThe full court press was put on Anzalone by OSU

Last time we spoke with Wyomissing (PA) LB Alex Anzalone, he was fresh off his first visit, and about fifth overall college trip, to Columbus to check out Ohio State and came away with what was his 12th athletic scholarship offer at the time (mid-February).

Fast forward to today and Anzalone has made visits to over 10 schools and now counts a total of over 30 offers to choose from as he tries to narrow down his massive list so that he can choose the one school that is the best fit for him.

Ranked as the sixth overall outside linebacker by 247, the tenth outside linebacker by Scout, and sixteenth at the position by Rivals, Anzalone (6-3/220) certainly has the offer list to merit his four-star ranking. In addition to Ohio State, his offers include Alabama, Florida, Penn State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Florida State, Virginia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, South Carolina, USC, Tennessee, and UNC, among many of the other top programs in the nation.

While most prospects visit just a handful of schools that they can get to locally or on official visits, Anzalone had the luxury of taking multiple visits this winter and spring to get more information on some of his potential college options. Some of these visits included Penn State, Virginia, Boston College, Maryland, Michigan State, UConn, Notre Dame, and most recently a visit to Florida, a return trip to Ohio State, and finally followed by a trip out west to check out UCLA, USC, and Stanford.

On his latest set of visits, Florida got the first shot to impress the two-way Wyomissing star. The Gators had sort of a built in advantage coming into this recruiting process, as Anzalone's father studied in Gainesville back in the day and son grew up as "sort of" a Florida fan. As you could imagine, the trip was definitely a good one if you're a fan of the orange and blue.

About his trip to UF, Anzalone said, "The campus was really nice and they have a great college town. The coaches are down to earth and Coach Muschamp is definitely turning things around there. The last two years have been disappointing for them, but you can tell things are swinging in the right direction and he definitely has the team headed upwards."

When asked what additionally stood out about Florida, Anzalone said "I have some family there which isn't too big of a factor, but it is cool to see. It's good to know that if I decide to go there I have family down there to make me feel comfortable".

Following the trip to Florida, Anzalone was back in Columbus on his second visit to Ohio State. While the first time he was there it was a Junior Day, this time Alex got to see things a little bit more in depth.

Some recruiting tactic StanfordAnzalone got to meet Condoleezza Rice at Stanford

"The Ohio State visit went really well. It definitely reassured me of the feelings I had about the school and program. It was a little different this time as last time was a Junior Day, but it was much better this time around."

In addition to getting to see more of campus and the facilities, Anzalone also got to speak with some academic people at the university, as well as hang out with some of the current players and other prospects that were on campus at the time. Players he hung out with included Ryan Shazier, Braxton Miller, and Se'Von Pittman, while the recruits he spent time with were Noah Spence, Cam Williams, Armani Reeves, David Perkins, Courtney Love, and Ezekiel Elliott, among others.

Regarding his time with the players, Anzalone said, "They were all really cool guys. We had a fun time hanging out throughout the weekend and I could definitely see myself fitting in with these guys and being their teammates in the future".

While that was all good and fun, the best part of Anzalone's trip was getting to spend more time with Ohio State head coach, Urban Meyer. Meyer spent a lot of time with Anzalone and it was greatly received, as the linebacker said "Coach Meyer really took a lot of time to talk with me. I got to eat dinner with him and his family, as well as with some of the other coaches and their families one of the nights, which was really cool. He told me they really want me at Ohio State and are willing to wait as long as they have to for me. They mentioned they are only taking two or three linebackers in this class, but that they would hold one of those spots for me, which really meant a lot".

After what would be considered a successful visit at the very least, Anzalone hit the road out west to visit three prominent schools in UCLA, USC, and Stanford during his high school spring break. Going in to the visit, he had offers from Stanford and USC, and was expecting to receive one from the Bruins upon arriving on campus.

Regarding UCLA, Anzalone said that the "everything was really nice and the campus was beautiful", but he didn't get the offer he hoped for as his visit came and went without Jim Mora Jr.'s staff extending an offer. It appears the Bruins aren't pursuing him that strongly and are now likely out of contention for his services.

The USC visit went better for Alex, where he got to meet Lane Kiffin's staff in person, calling them "a really good group of guys". He also got to see the plans for their new facilities which are "going to have some really cool, up to date technology", and sit in on some team meetings, which he described as "crazy".

Finally, his Stanford visit may have been the best of his trip out west. Of the trip Anzalone said, "The campus was impressive and extremely nice. The coaches were great and were cool to talk with. The meaning of the degree from that school really stuck out to me. It really is a powerful degree."

After returning home from his long "vacation", Anzalone has had some time to think things through regarding his college decision and mentioned some schools standing out at this point, including Ohio State, Florida, Stanford, USC, Penn State, and Notre Dame. Regarding his decision it seems he's getting closer to making the call, saying, "I have all the information I need to make my decision. At this point it's just a matter of making sure I am doing what is best for me and that I am 100% sure of where I want to go. I plan on talking to my parents shortly and hopefully getting closer to that decision."

While no summer plans are booked yet, Anzalone will make another trip to see Penn State spring practice this coming Saturday and is planning to follow up with a third trip to Ohio State for the spring game on April 21, although he is unsure if he will be able to make it that weekend. Either way, the Buckeyes appear to be sitting towards the top of Anzalone's list, which is good news right now, as it appears a college decision could be coming in the near future.


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hodge's picture

Ready to make a decision...

Making his third visit to OSU...

Do I smell a Spring Game commit?

Ahh Saturday's picture

I am waiting for that asterisk to be removed from Anzalone's name on the Spring visitor's list.  It seems that if he's coming, he's coming to commit.

Triv's picture

With a little luck sounds like we could see a commitment if he makes it out to the spring game? One can hope at least

Sorry Urban, Woody is still my favorite

Ethos's picture

Man that kid travels a lot.  I think he's seen more states in the last year then I have in my life, sadly.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

Matt's picture

Stanford is a tough place to beat these days now that the Cardinals are competing for BCS berths.  That degree, that campus, and all that comes with it.  Hopefully they take a big step back with Luck now gone, and it turns back into the Northwestern of the west, as well it should be.

Ahh Saturday's picture

That's funny.  I live in Chicago and manage to take in a NW game almost every year, and I've been pulling for them to become the Stanford of the midwest.

Buckeyeneer's picture

I never thought about that, but its a scary thought. If NW had a great football team they would be stealing midwest recruits left and right. It would be a triple threat, prestigious degree, get to live in Chicago with all the things it has to offer, and be part of a football power. Scary indeed.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

BuckeyeVet's picture

Sounds like a fine young man. Hope he's a future Buckeye, but best wishes wherever he winds up.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

"The recipient of Oyster's ONLY down vote".

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

He makes it here for the Spring game and I'm guessing that will be the final straw for him to pull the trigger and become a Buckeye!!!  The shear magnitude of 100,000 plus people packing that stadium just to watch a practice would have to impress this kid!

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

BuckeyeLurker0509's picture

How do you pronounce this last name?



or Anza-loan

scUM's picture

He looks like a good kid. Chad Henne came from Wyomissing, PA, by the way. He turned out to be a pretty good player, just not against Ohio. :)

KJR10's picture

did AACC play thr bobcats when he was QB?


scUM's picture

I don't know. AACC?

Edit: I think I finally got it. AACC. That's funny. I'm not a AA grad or the CC type. Actually, I think Henee lost to the Bobcat's 4 times.

LionsandBear's picture

Henne isn't from Wyomissing, he just has a Wyomissing mailing address.  Henne went to Wilson which is a AAAA powerhouse while Anzalone goes to Wyomissing which is a AA school.  Just wanted to clear that up in case you were under the impression that they came from the same program.

scUM's picture

I didn't know the difference. I don't usually pay attention to which high school kids go to.

DonkeyPunchAnnArbor's picture

But you pay attention to what city/town they are from?  Seems to me the school (and competition they play) might have a bigger impact on the recruit and grading his abilities.

"Michigan and "huge mistake" are synonymous"
-Mark Titus

scUM's picture

After 3 years of watching Terrell Pryor play, I would tell you he came from Jennette, PA (or some such place).

Nick's picture

Hey TaylOrSwifT is frUm Wyomissing too eh ?|

LionsandBear's picture

Why yes she is, although she moved to Nashville in order to pursue her career.  

Wyomissing is the Beverly Hills of the Reading area.  Lots of $$$ in that town.  As you can see, Anzalone's father is a doctor.

KJR10's picture

u would know that abot t-swift nick

wigbug5's picture

In the past a guy like Anzalone would be a virtual lock to Penn ST. Times have changed now. He still could go there but not likely. If he grew up a florida fan, he didnt realize it but he was really an Urban MEyer fan, and now his favorite coach is closer to home. Spring game will be alot of fun and I hope he pulls the trigger and commits.


rjsmitty's picture

I dont mind the U of M fans coming here and adding to our site. Sometimes I actually enjoy their input on the subjects from a rivals point of view but...SCUM, I can not bare to look at that giant maize M on this site any longer than I had to in this post. Have a little respect and change that pic. I wouldnt go on to MGOBLOG with a giant block O as my pic. Just sayin

"I don't wanna coach average! To hell with that!"  -UFM

SonOfBuckeye's picture

I can not bare to look at that giant maize M on this site any longer than I had to in this post.

Just look at mine instead.

rjsmitty's picture

Ha...I can barely stomach that.

"I don't wanna coach average! To hell with that!"  -UFM

d_sisler40's picture

I saw Vrabel giving him a tour of the Student Union and then Fickel joined them for lunch at Sloopy's.

scUM's picture

I can understand you guys not liking the big block M. I think I'll change that. (At least I cropped off the part where the wolverine was ripping apart Brutus.)

As far as SCUM goes, I chose that name because I think it is funny they way Ohio (YTO) fans think it is somehow offensive. I’m not offended. I hope it doesn’t offend you.

As far as what brought me here, I noticed that UM brought in a couple of LB recruits out of Ohio. McCray and Gedeon, I think. McCray’s father was even a captain at OSU from what I hear. I was curious who OSU is recruiting since all the Ohio kids are now going to Michigan.

In my opinion, I think Urban is leaving a big opening for us, similar to the way RichRod let Dantonio run loose in our state. They still get a couple of good players, but State has been force to recruit “nationally” since Hoke showed up. I know the same is not true of OSU – they can pretty much real in anyone they want out of Ohio.

SonOfBuckeye's picture

I can understand you guys not liking the big block M. I think I'll change that.

There's nothing wrong with it.  No one (or virtually no one) at mgoblog takes offense at the OSU fans with block O avatars.

Alex's picture

in state LB Courtney Love, LB Alex Anzalone (PA), and LB Jaylon Smith (IN) are the top three priorities...after that it is Tim Kimbrough (IN)....They wanted Gedeon and missed on him.....McCray was not offered by OSU

ThirdLegLouie's picture

All Ohio kids aren't going to Michigan- if an OH kid went up north, he either A) didn't have an offer (which is a majority of the OH kids that went up north), B) was a backup plan (read: Gedeon, Smith) or C) committed before Urban got there (read Dymonte).

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

Ahh Saturday's picture

Urban is doing just fine in Ohio.  Marshall and Burrows are the top 2 players in the state, and both are coming to OSU.  Lisle is the top OL and he's coming to OSU.  Gibson is the top WR and he's coming to OSU.  LB has definitely been interesting as most sites have Gedeon (offered) and McCray (not offered) as the top LBs in Ohio, but the staff seems to love them some Love much to the dismay of the message board stargazers, and also is sitting well with Anzalone and Jaylon Smith. Players like Taco and Butt are solid gets for michigan, but we had higher priorities at their positions, and with reduced scholarships, I don't think either was even sniffing an offer this year.  No doubt michigan has done well recruiting Ohio this year, but I'll take the guys we've pulled from Ohio over yours every day of the week. 

scUM's picture

You guys may end up pulling in better recruits, I don’t know. But I do think UM is upgrading their talent level, too. I think of it like a pennant race. You gain ground faster by beating your competition directly. UM and OSU used to match up pretty evenly. But in Carr’s last few years, I think Tressell was winning almost all the head-to-head recruiting battles.  UM has always recruited “nationally” but without getting any of the local kids, our level of talent was obviously going down.  Now Hoke is actually beating Meyer out on some Ohio recruits. Who would have thought?

ThirdLegLouie's picture

Awww.. you think Hoke is actually beating Meyer out on recruits that Urban wants? That's so cute!

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

Alex Root's picture

AHH Saturday said it perfectly. Yes michigan is getting better talent, but OSU has limited scholarships and we need to get the best, meyer can really take a chance on to many recruits in this class, he does have a lot of the top players from Ohio still as well. Meyer is just being more selective this year becuase of scholarships. This helps Michigan because they have a lot of scholarships to give out those kids have to go somewhere, if you can't go to the #1 school in the big10 you go to the second best Michigan.