Woodward Academy standout lineman Henry Anderson is one of the most sought after defensive ends in the south.
With 17 offers to date, including Wisconsin earlier in the week, Anderson can punch his ticket to almost any school he wants. Recently, Georgia paid a visit to his team's practice.
"Coach (Jon) Fabris and Coach (Stacy) Searels were there, as well as a coach from Duke, Purdue and Wisconsin was there too," said Anderson.
The 6-foot-6, 250-pound Anderson is coming off an impressive performance at the Athens Nike camp. But the Woodward junior is his own biggest critic, and according to him, it was not up to par.
"At the Nike Camp, I feel like I performed okay. I am always trying to work on things, and I never really feel satisfied with my performance. I thought I played too high, and I could have used my hands a little better," he said. "I got to work with guys Corey Miller and Brandon Willis from Byrnes, which was awesome."
While he has yet to receive an offer from the Bulldogs, they are continuing to evaluate him, and it could come next month. Georgia could also be looking at him at a different position as well, which is part of a new development in the three star's recruitment so far.
"They wanted me to come to the June camp, and they stressed to my coaches that they really hoped to see me there. I think a lot of SEC schools are looking at me as an offensive tackle. Unfortunately Georgia did not get a chance to see me work at the position," admitted Anderson.
While the Bulldogs coaches did not get a chance to see Anderson on the offensive line, the plan is for him to play there this fall for Woodward Academy. One thing he will not do is ask them to play him on offense, and he did nothing of the sort when Georgia came to see him.
"On offense, I work almost extensively at offensive tackle. They are really only going to use me there in clutch situations where we need a big play. But I am not going to ask my coaches to play on offense more; I still plan on planning more defensive end most of the time," he said. "I do not want to be singled out and hurt the team just to give colleges a look at me on offense."
Anderson admits his interest in playing in the Southeastern Conference is very high. But getting that first offer, from South Carolina last Friday, came with a surprise twist.
"Getting that first SEC offer was awesome, Coach Ward from South Carolina came in and told my coaches if I wasn't opposed to playing offensive line that I had an offer," said Anderson.
It did not take long for him to decide.
"I later told him on the phone no, I would be fine with that. I have been waiting on an SEC offer for awhile, and getting that first one was exciting. That was the most excited I had been about an offer yet," Anderson exclaimed.
While it was a mild surprise, Anderson admits he understands the talent level involved in the conference on defense. The position change would be a big change, but Anderson feels his ceiling could actually be higher on the offensive line.
"I think in the SEC, where defensive ends are running 4.5 forties, speed off the edge is what they want," he said. "I could develop into a great offensive tackle, and I really think I have more potential there than at end. I would have to put on a lot of weight, but I think that would be fine with me as long as the team is winning. I would much rather be in big games and BCS bowls as an developing offensive tackle than go 4-8 starting at defensive end."
If Georgia were to offer Anderson next month, it might be after close to 20 others have come through. Would the delayed offer be seen as a negative for the in state prospect?
"I do not think schools that offer me now are too late, because they may be looking at me at a different position. When they are looking at me as just a defensive end, I think I am a pretty darn good one," he said. "But I am not a top ten in the country type; I know there are some better ones out there."
The No. 25 defensive end in the country furthered his explanation.
"With my size, if I show the ability to play the offensive tackle position, I feel like I can pick up more offers in the SEC," he said. "Since I do not really play there, they need more time to evaluate me in camps. They offer the best players in the country at any position, so to get an offer at any position would be an honor."
One of those schools that could offer him at either position is the in state Bulldogs. Anderson knows a lot about the program, since he has been following Georgia for a long time.
"At Georgia, they have one of the best programs in the country. For the past few years, going to BCS bowls and having a preseason No. 1 ranking, they can recruit nationally," he said. "I have been a Georgia fan all of my life and it seems like they are pretty close to offering. Maybe if they like what they see of me at their camp it will come. They will probably work me half at each position."
The talented lineman admits that while his recruitment is not over yet, he does not plan on waiting too much longer to decide.
"I have been taking my time because I want to be comfortable at the place I am going to spend the next four or five years. I do not want to rush that decision, but at the same time, I do not want to miss out and have schools fill their spots before I decide," Anderson explained.
While a decision could be coming soon for Anderson, an offer from Georgia does not make him a lock for Athens.
"The only thing wrong with Georgia is that transition to offensive tackle. I am not going to get that much playing time as I would at other schools that need the help now," he said. "That is the only thing that I can see holding me back from committing to Georgia right away if they were to offer."
The thought of a quick commitment would follow a Bulldog offer, but other colleges are not so lucky.
"Really I cannot think of any other school that I would think of pulling the trigger right away though," Anderson said.
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