Eden Prairie running back Anderson does 'whatever it takes'

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 30, 2013 - 12:02 AM

A relatively new running back, Anderson led the way this year for the Eagles all the way to the Prep Bowl title.

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Eden Prairie’s Anthony Anderson celebrated after scoring one of his two first-half touchdowns in the title game.

Photo: KYNDELL HARKNESS • Star Tribune,

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Two years ago, Anthony Anderson considered himself a basketball player. A sophomore at Eden Prairie, he thought he was done with football.

“I didn’t think I was going play again,” he said.

Now, after stamping his name all over the Class 6A championship game, the running back has a past to remember and a future to look forward to.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior with a wrestler’s body and a dancer’s feet rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown, caught a 51-yard pass for a touchdown and even made his mark with his downfield blocking, leveling two Rosemount players to spring Charlie Venable on a screen pass for the Eagles’ first touchdown.

“I try to do whatever it takes to support the team,” Anderson said. “Anything it takes, I’ll do it for the team.”

The team, clearly, is grateful.

Anderson was a defensive end at the start of his junior year when a chance to run the ball in practice caught a coach’s eye. That led to an opportunity in a JV game to carry the ball — against Rosemount, no less — and he ran 42 yards for a touchdown on his first touch. The rest, as they say, is a very impressive history.

He led Eden Prairie in rushing this year, teaming with fullback Dan Fisher to make up the most feared backfield in the state, earning first-team All-Metro honors.

“He’s only been playing running back for a year and a half,” said Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant. “We weren’t smart enough to put him there until midseason.”

Offensive tackle Rob Olson gushed over having Anderson to block for. “It’s so much fun,” he said. “The physicality he has, it gives the entire team confidence.”

Still relatively new to running back, Anderson said he is only starting to hear from colleges, but he included some important names — such as Minnesota — in the mix. For now, however, he was content just to enjoy his moment under the Teflon roof.

“This was the most fun I’ve had the whole season,” he said.

  • related content

  • Eden Prairie’s Ernest Boateng got a hug from head coach Mike Grant after the Eagles won the Class 6A state championship on Friday night at the Metrodome.

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