Shaq Anthony - mature beyond his years


by - Senior Writer -
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Shaq Anthony at Clemson's football camp.

CLEMSON – If you get the chance to have a conversation with Wren High School’s Shaq Anthony, Class of 2011 and an early commitment for Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers, it becomes apparent early on that Anthony is not your usual high school senior, especially when it comes to maturity.

Anthony, an offensive lineman and the son of former Clemson letter winner Vernie Anthony, talked to TigerNet recently, and he said that going ahead and making the commitment to the Tigers was a no-brainer.

“I am very glad I did it, and if I had to go back and do it again I would do the same thing,” Anthony said. “It makes it easier to focus on the team and enjoy my senior season with no distractions. This summer, I went to the Clemson [Dabo Swinney’s] camp, and other than that it has been quiet. As far as recruiting, it has gotten a lot better since I committed and it has made it easier to go on with my life every day.”

Vernie Anthony was a junior middle guard on Clemson’s 1981 National Championship squad, and Shaq said that while he knew his dad would approve of Clemson as his college of choice, Vernie made it clear from the beginning that the decision was 100 percent Shaq’s.

“My dad told me in the beginning that he wanted me to do whatever I wanted to do,” Anthony said. “He told me he wanted me to be led by the Lord, and he told me that I should pray about it. In the bottom of my heart, I knew he wanted me to go to Clemson and would want me to follow in his footsteps. But he also told me that the decision I made would affect the rest of my life, and that the decision was not his, that I had to decide on my own.”

It was his relationship with the Clemson coaching staff that ultimately helped him make his decision.

“I have a great relationship with all those guys,” Anthony said of the Clemson coaches. “Coach [Brad] Scott, I have been working with him the last couple of years, and Coach Swinney is the one that started coming to me showing me the attention and he offered me my scholarship. Coach Swinney is the type of person that can connect with the younger guys, and they can relate to him. He is also the type of guy that you can go to and talk about anything.”

With his decision firm and an entire year of high school still ahead of him, however, Anthony said that he is in no rush to get past his senior season, and that he wants to enjoy every moment as it happens.

“I have been trying to catch up to life,” he said. “I remember my first day of high school like it was yesterday, and I remember my dad told me to enjoy it because it would fly by. Now I am a senior and it is already here. I don’t want to go ahead and say I want to be at Clemson.


“I want to enjoy my senior year, because there is still stuff I have left to do at Wren. I want to get to the state championship for my team, and I want my team to be successful. I want to play for my teammates, and we are all excited about going out and playing football this season.”

Anthony did say, however, that he was looking forward to his career at Clemson and the step it represents in his life.

“I am looking forward to the friendships I will build on my team,” Anthony said. “It is the next step in my life. High school was a step, it was step one in my career and college is step two. I am looking forward to step two. When you left middle school, you had to start over and make a name for yourself. I am looking forward to working my way up where everybody knows my name. I don’t want to just get a number because they said I would get one. I want o to be able to earn everything I get.”

Anthony is long and lean and has the build to develop a lot of upper body strength, but he said the two things he feels like he brings to the table are his athletic ability and his smarts.

“I am an athletic offensive lineman I like to believe,” he said. “I am athletic and smart. If I get beat on a play by my competition, I don’t want to get mad. I want to take what they beat me with and learn from it and master it. I am not going to get angry about it – I am going to keep competing. I want to keep competing and working hard, and I’m the type of person that wants to be ahead of everybody else.”

The Shaq Anthony file:

Ht:6'4"

Wt: 260 lbs

40: 5.1 secs

Bench Max: 295

Squat Max: 340

Vertical: 27 inches

GPA: 3.4

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