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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 35 Purdue needs help in the short term and a foundation in the long term at wide receiver, and Anderson's early enrollment might particularly matter toward the for- mer and his ability may particularly matter toward the latter. He was an A1 sort of priority for Purdue at what it hopes can become a signature position for its program, and the fact he will get a head start on his college career at a position where opportunities abound certainly makes him a significant addition. Height: 5-11 Weight: 175 High School: Curtis Hometown: Staten Island, N.Y. Senior Stats: 27 receptions, 834 yards, 15 touchdowns (rushing and receiving) C urtis High School head coach Peter Gambardella had a player in Anderson Jr. who could "do everything." So the coaches let him. "He was mostly a receiver. However, when you have a receiver and he's got the reputation, he's got the skills, teams try to take him away, so then we had to get a lit- tle innovative," Gambardella said. "Last season, he carried the ball, he threw the ball, he caught the ball, he returned the ball, played defense. So he's such a unique talent that we had a goal that he had to touch the ball at least 15 times a game." Curtis might not have reached that mark every game, but Anderson Jr. certainly had big-play production, averaging nearly 31 yards per reception while combining for 15 touchdowns, some after a catch and others while running the ball in. Jeff Brohm loved that about Anderson Jr. when the close-to-6-foot, 175-pounder signed in December, after he'd committed a month earlier over Boston College, Maryland, N.C. State, Rutgers and others. "(He) has some dynamic playmaking ability, speed, good hands, good route-running," Brohm said. "He's a pretty pol- ished receiver right now as is. Get him here, get him stronger in the weight room, he has a chance to play for us early." Gambardella thinks Anderson Jr. can put on the needed weight, especially with the receiver being on campus now as an early enrollee. Anderson Jr. participated in the winter conditioning program and now in spring practices. That'll help Anderson Jr., Gambardella says, pick up 15-to-20 pounds before the fall. And if Anderson Jr. does, he could make an impact in a variety of ways. "When you move him around a little bit and try to create mismatches, once you get those mismatches, he can make plays," Gambardella said. The Purdue Fit Did You Know? Anderson Jr. had been a Rutgers' commitment for two months during the fall, before telling the Scarlet Knights he wanted to keep looking. Amad Anderson Jr. Wide receiver "Anderson is a great route runner, has a knack for making tough catches, and can make a lot of plays with the ball in his hands. He is a better downfield threat than defenders expect and is good at high-pointing the ball when making leaping catches." — Mid-Atlantic analyst Adam Friedman take Action photo by

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