Next up in our recruiting series is another wide receiver in the 2019 class, Ezeriah Anderson, a 6’5, 210 pound player from Seffner, Florida. Anderson had offers to play at Virginia Tech, Boston College, and South Florida, but ultimately chose Iowa State.
Anderson is one of four wide receivers in the 2019 class that will be joining a really experienced core. Deshaunte Jones, Tarique Milton, Jalen Martin, and Landen Akers all return from last years team. La’Michael Pettway is coming over as a grad transfer from Arkansas to add experience. There are also several underclassmen that have gone through a year or two of practice, but haven’t gotten playing time yet.
It’s safe to say that we won’t see a whole lot of Anderson on the field, for the same reason we won’t see a lot of freshman. However, I’m still going to take a look at his game and see ways where he can fit into Iowa State’s scheme in the future.
As I mentioned above, Anderson has size. His frame allows him to go up over defenders and make difficult catches. This makes him a viable downfield threat, especially in the red zone, not unlike Hakeem Butler in his time in Ames
On top of this, Anderson also has above average speed for his frame and size, and has the ability to beat defensive backs down the field and break away after a catch.
Most importantly, Anderson has really good hands, which is obviously critical at his position. Iowa State has had some drops problems in the past, especially with Hakeem Butler, so it’s good to know that it doesn’t appear to be an issue with Anderson.
This hook is a really well-run route by Anderson. It happens off-screen, but Anderson makes a move that causes the defender to lose leverage and be turned the wrong way. Once Anderson has the upper-hand on position, he makes a really good catch while keeping his feet in the endzone.
Iowa State can always use more redzone options, especially with Hakeem Butler and Allen Lazard no longer on the team. If Anderson builds on this under the coaching staff, this could be one of his roles.
This is a tremendous catch on a simple long slant route. The throw is a bit high, but Anderson high points the ball and it comes down with it. However, the most impressive part is probably how he maintained his balance as he was coming down with the ball. It looked like he for sure was going to go to the ground after making the catch, instead he found a way into the endzone.
Here’s another play in the red zone where Anderson makes the catch thanks to the position he created with sheer size and strength. Once he has position over the smaller back, all he has to do is make a catch with leverage. He does just that.
I’ve noticed that the best part of Ezeriah Anderson’s game is what he does before he has the ball. He is very good with footwork and using body control to take advantage of defenders weaknesses. This shows an attention to detail high school receivers don’t often possess, and is a really good sign for what’s to come in his future.
Here’s another example of Anderson making stuff happen without the ball. The quarterback from Seffner High School has to scramble to keep the play alive, and while he’s scrambling, Anderson is trying to find spots within the defense. He ends up finding a hole along the sidelines, then makes a really good catch above his head to pick up the first down.
Because of Iowa State’s sometimes inconsistent offensive line and the nature of football, broken plays happen all the time. Having receivers that can get open during those plays is very important, because Brock Purdy will find them.
While we are looking forward to a bright time in Iowa State football, it’s time to take a look back to a much darker time in history, the 2013-15 teams who actually did have some good players, despite their dearth of success. One of those was D’Vario Montgomery, a taller wide receiver who had speed and exceptional route running. Montgomery had two good seasons in Ames before leaving after the conclusion of the Paul Rhoads era.
Anderson has a game that reminds me a lot of Montgomery from the body build to the play style, but D’Vario largely underachieved in the cardinal and gold thanks the lack of good quarterback play. I think that with the play of Brock Purdy combined with the raw skills of Ezeriah Anderson, we could see the type of player that Montgomery was meant to be in Ames.
I think Ezeriah Anderson will be best utilized in a role that is either in the redzone or on a lot of vertical routes down the field. He has the footwork and size to be able to take advantage of smaller receivers in the secondary, and can be used in a similar role to what Hakeem Butler and Allen Lazard were used in for every season under Matt Campbell, so there won’t need to be an adjustment in the offense when Anderson is ready to hit the field.
I’m super excited for Ezeriah Anderson to see the field. It more than likely won’t happen this year, but he will have an opportunity to learn behind a great group of receivers.
My personal favorite type of receiver is the tall one who can just bully defensive backs by going over the top to make a catch, and Anderson has that potential because of his size and his fantastic footwork. As has been demonstrated for the entire Matt Campbell era, having players that can compliment the slot guy with routes along the sidelines and in the red zone is critical to maintaining balance and opening up space for other guys.
Once Ezeriah Anderson is ready to see the field, watch out.