There’s no doubt as to where Keaton Anderson’s focus is heading into the 2014 season.
It’s on the field, focused on helping his Florence (Ala.) Falcons get to the next level during his final high school campaign.
Still, it’s tough to even begin thinking about Florence’s season without the first game on the schedule – at Irondale (Ala.) Shades Valley High School. If one shifts back to when Anderson committed to Alabama, one of the first things he mentioned was helping the class to grow. That means Daron Payne, Shades Valley’s star defender and the top prospect in the state, who will share the field with the standout linebacker on August 22.
“I’m extremely excited, not only to play a great team, but to test yourself and your ability,” Anderson said of the matchup. “They have great athletes, and I have much respect for them over there. They have a lot of talent, but we’re looking forward to the challenge. It’s a team we may see later in the playoffs, too, so we’ll see what happens.”
With focus on the game itself, don’t expect Anderson to pitch Payne on the Crimson Tide just yet.
“When I’m playing an opponent, I am not a friend,” he said laughing. “Take it how y’all want, but after we play, I’ll holler at Payne. But when we’re on the field, it’s like I don’t even know who that is. No disrespect, but that’s how any football player that feels as strongly about the game as I do looks at it.
“But after the season, especially if he’s not committed anywhere, I’ll get at him. Like, probably every day, he’ll probably get tired of me. He’ll be hearing from me soon, but not before we play him.”
Anderson isn’t alone among Tide commitments recruiting others to help Nick Saban close out another No. 1 class on Scout, but the group of pledges also bonds outside of talking recruiting.
“I’ve talked to a couple of guys, but I haven’t been too serious with it,” he said. “Honestly, the whole summer, I was just trying to get this commitment over with and just focus in on my team. But I’ve been talking to a bunch of the guys who have already committed. We have a great relationship with each other. We stay in contact about every day. Guys like Christian (Bell), Mekhi (Brown), Blake (Barnett), Lester (Cotton), Dallas (Warmack), Deionte (Thompson), Minkah (Fitzpatrick)…all those guys. It’s already great with us; we’re just trying to pull in some other guys.
“Hopefully (four-star offensive tackle) Drew Richmond can get in, I hear he’s one of the top priorities, and maybe another RB (running back). But after the season, especially, I’ll be really big on it.”
Anderson is currently tabbed as a three-star on Scout, ranking as the No. 13 middle linebacker prospect in the class of 2015.
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