April 13, 2013
By JACK BOGACZYK
HUNTINGTON – What a difference a week makes!
Last Saturday morning, Kevin Anderson was trying to remove the cobwebs after a Senior Prom night in Florida. This Saturday, the freshman quarterback was on the turf at Edwards Stadium, taking in his first Marshall spring scrimmage as a Herd quarterback.
A holiday or a Holliday?
Anderson knows he isn’t going to play in 2013 for the Thundering Herd, but the fourth-string QB’s January enrollment after finishing high school classwork at Boca Raton High School already is paying dividends.
He’s getting a chance to get started toward a degree in business and he’s learning the Herd’s NASCAR-paced offense. Besides, he isn’t missing out on a couple of important high school experiences, thanks to MU Coach Doc Holliday and offensive coordinator and QB coach Bill Legg.
A week ago, after the media noticed Anderson was missing from morning drills, Holliday was asked about it. The Herd coach said the quarterback was back home attending the prom.
Turns out Holliday only got it only half right.
“It was good, a lot of fun,” Anderson said when asked about the prom. “Actually, it was two proms. My girlfriend (Kayla Prince) and I go to different schools, so I had proms on Friday and Saturday nights. I doubled up on it.
“I’m from Boca Raton and she goes to our rival school, Park Vista. My junior year we lost to them on a last-second extra point, 28-27, and it was one of my best games but unfortunately, we lost.
“I didn’t get to play against them this year because I was hurt (collarbone fracture). It’s kind of funny girlfriend goes to school there.”
Anderson said when Marshall coaches asked if he could enroll early, “My mom – you know how moms are -- she didn’t want me to miss out on stuff as a senior in high school, the prom, graduation. So, I asked Coach Legg and he talked to Coach Holliday and they said OK.”
Anderson will go home after the spring semester ends, but is due to report back to MU for workouts May 20. That works for him, too. His BRHS graduation is May 18. His mom will be happy … and timing is everything, as Anderson figures on the coming years, too.
The 6-foot-2, 204-pound quarterback missed two-thirds of his high school senior season due to a displaced right collarbone, but unlike some other schools recruiting him, the Herd didn’t waver on a player who had committed last July 30 – the second commit in the 2013 signing class, behind Ohio offensive lineman Cody Collins.
It probably helped that the Floridian had been tutored by former MU star Eric Kresser since the summer of 2009, right before Anderson’s high school freshman year. Kresser’s Pro QB LLC business in Jupiter, Fla. – founded in 2008 -- worked well for Anderson, but the new Herd quarterback said Kresser didn’t push him toward Huntington.
“It helped that he went here, but Eric didn’t want to help any of us he was working with make any decisions,” Anderson said. “He wasn’t going to influence us that way. The main thing he wanted to do was get us the fit, the offensive style that fit.
“This whole scheme is a quarterback’s dream. You throw it a ton. And just the fact we throw so much, this is the best system for me. Whether it was Huntington or wherever, it just happened to be where he played.”
Kresser has said Anderson already is a better player than he was at Florida or Marshall, where he transferred. The 1996 Division I-AA national championship quarterback said Anderson “knows what he needs to do to get where he wants to go.”
That started with Anderson’s January enrollment and his sessions with fellow quarterbacks Rakeem Cato, Blake Frohnapfel and Gunnar Holcombe in Legg’s offseason classroom.
“Getting here early has bene great,” Anderson said. “I’ve been through all of the skill development, the meetings with Coach Legg to teach us the offense. So, now I already know all of the calls. At first it was shaky and difficult to get used to it, things being such a high tempo, but now I can just go out and work and compete.
“I’ve learned the playbook and I’m getting reps here in spring practice. I wouldn’t have gotten that in (August) when it’s all first-team reps. My collarbone is no problem. I already was lifting weights a month before I came up here.
“There wasn’t any kind of rotator issue or anything. It was a stabilizing muscle in my collarbone, so it didn’t affect my throwing motion at all.”
And when he goes from his current no-contact No. 14 red jersey to a redshirt for the 2013 season, Anderson said he will be fine with that. He not only expected it; he wants it.
“I think (redshirting) is definitely best for me because down the road, it will give me a much better chance to play,” Anderson said. “And I’m studying business, so I can get my master’s in five years.
“The College of Business at Marshall is one of the better ones, so I want to take advantage of the scholarship money and get my master’s. I eventually want to go back home to the University of Miami Law School. I want to be a lawyer.”
Before that, he’s learning to be an FBS college quarterback … on the fly in more ways than one.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned from (the three QBs ahead of him), well, I’ve learned a lot,” Anderson said. “When I was in high school, I just put it on the (receiver). When I see Cato throw, he’ll through a lot to spots, and the receiver will run through to them. It’s getting rid of the ball sooner and still completing the pass to a certain spot.
“You don’t wait for them to get open; that’s the biggest thing. There’s that, and being able to work on the fly. In high school, I was in a huddle offense, high tempo sometime. But it was never like, call a play, set, hut. The change from high school to college, the players are all faster anyway.
“Then you put the tempo on top of that, and it’s even harder. We’re moving so fast. Just the way they handle it -- like certain routes, you can be calmer, take more time, let it come to me and not worry so much about the tempo.”
Yeah, it’s even tougher than going to the prom of your rival high school.