A little more than a month ago, Latwan Anderson pledged his allegiance
to the Lakewood St. Edward football program. Now’s he’s at Cleveland
Glenville. Anderson claims that it was his dad’s decision, but he’s
looking forward to making the most of any new opportunities that
come his way as a Tarblooder.
On Thursday of this past week, all of the recent rumors and speculation
going around about whether or not Latwan Anderson would indeed transfer
to Cleveland Glenville from Lakewood St. Edward or not were officially
answered. On that last day of school before the holiday break, Anderson attended his first day of classes at the Ginn Academy.
“It was my dad’s decision really,” explained Anderson. “I guess he just felt like the Ginn Academy was like a better situation for me as far as football is concerned.”
Back on Feb. 27, Anderson told Bucknuts.com that he had officially made
up his mind and would be returning to St. Edward for his senior season.
“I was in the process of maybe thinking about leaving there but I’m not
going anywhere now,” is what Anderson had said exactly five weeks prior
to Good Friday. “Me and my dad squared it away (Feb 26). I’m staying there, that’s where I want to be. It’s a great place and I love everybody there.”
Anderson, who sounded just a bit reluctant on the telephone with regard
to those comments about transferring to Glenville then, was still
articulating somewhat of the same sentiments now.
“I think it’s a better football situation,” he said, “but St. Ed’s is
still a great school and I hated leaving all of my friends and
teammates. But I’ve got to do what’s best for me.”
And Anderson admittedly was happy with his first day at the Ginn
Academy even though he hasn’t had much of a chance to get to know Ted
Ginn Sr. yet.
“I haven’t really talked to him much since it was the end of the week and school was letting out,” Anderson said. “But of course he’s a nice guy and the school is real nice. It’s real structured and quiet. It’s kind of similar (to St. Edward) but the only thing is Ginn Academy is much smaller. It’s kind of like a Catholic school, shirt and ties, everybody is quiet and doing what they need to do. It’s just a smaller place.”
Opportunity, both for him as an individual and with regard to the team,
indeed seems to be the real impetus for Anderson and his dad, Lou
Stephens, finally going through with the much-talked about and
much-anticipated transfer. Or maybe one could just say a better opportunity.
“I know every year they make it real deep into the playoffs and have a chance to win state every year,” Anderson said. “And they send a bunch of kids to D-I colleges.”
That’s his perception. And he’s willing to fit into that perception in any way possible in the Tarblooder football program.
“I really don’t know what I’ll play on offense or defense,” Anderson said. “I can play corner or safety or anything else. Whatever I play is fine with me. I’ve been (playing on both sides of the ball during) all of my high school career so it’s fine with me if I have to. If I don’t then it’s fine with me too. And the return game too.”
Overall he seems to be content, for a lack of a better description, about making the move to Glenville.
“I’m excited to be there and play for Glenville but at the same time it
still kind of sad that I’m leaving all of my teammates behind. Leaving all of my friends basically,” Anderson said. “I
would rather stay but at the same time it’s not about (St. Ed’s), it’s
about me and my best chance for getting where I want to be. And I feel I have a better chance now at Glenville.”
Absent of an Ohio State offer, however, Anderson seems to already be
doing pretty good for himself with respect to him getting “where I want
to be” if only any top D-I college program is the ultimate goal. In
addition to already having offers from Michigan and Michigan State
among some other schools, Anderson recently received scholarship offers
from Miami of Florida and UCLA.
So does this mean, whether he was referring to the pro level or Ohio
State at the college level, that Anderson’s situation with the
Buckeyes automatically improves now with his transfer to Glenville?
“They’re there of course with me being from Ohio but I really don’t know where I want to go,” Anderson said. “Of course being at Glenville now they’re bigger than before when I was at Ed’s.”
Again, that’s his perception. And yes he’s aware of the pipeline to Ohio State at Glenville.
“Yeah, so of course they’re up there now. That’s a good thing,” said Anderson who mentioned that he is an Ohio State fan. “It’s something I’ve thought about basically but it’s not a passion of mine (growing up). But being from Ohio, if I get the chance, I’ll probably go there.”
He certainly won’t be the first transfer from St. Edward to Glenville
to make it to Ohio State if Anderson, already a highly-touted recruit
in his own right, should happen to travel that route. Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Troy Smith and current Buckeye Ray Small were both Eagles before they were Tarblooders.
“Troy left for a bad reason, he was kicked out. I don’t know why Ray left,” Anderson said. “There really was no other reason except for a better situation opportunity-wise with us. My dad could really explain it better to you because I really just sat back and watched everything happen.”
Anderson, who has run track for St. Edward in the past, hasn’t decided
yet if he’ll participate in the sport for the Tarblooders this spring. After
winning five-consecutive D-I state championships, Glenville finished
fourth and lost their crown to Cleveland Heights for the D-I state
championship last season.
“Me and my dad talked about it (Thursday),” Anderson said. “But I still really don’t know if I’m going to run yet.”
For now, Anderson seems to be taking things one step at a time as he
sounds like he’s still in the process of convincing himself that he’s
making the right move.
“I think it’s a good move. The only thing to me that’s bad is leaving my teammates behind. That’s the only thing,” Anderson said. “Everything else, I think, is a real good move. At
first I didn’t really want my dad to take me out but thinking about the
big picture and what it means, it was actually a good move.”
Certainly, at least by his own account, Anderson was not forced out or encouraged to leave St. Edward in any manner. Rumors have been circulating over the Internet that he’s had trouble in some form or another there.
“No, there are like rumors out there of course (about) why I’m leaving
Ed’s to go to Glenville but nothing happened,” said Anderson who, in
addition to being in good standing academically, claims to have had no
incidents or trouble with the principal, athletic director, coaches,
teachers or anybody. “I’ve had no incidents at all. Nothing happened at all.”
Anderson is set to join an already crowded and talented secondary at
Glenville even though they graduated both starting corners and one of
their two starting safeties from last season. But,
at least on paper anyway, Anderson will vie with guys like team captain
Christian Bryant, Aaron Morris, Xavier Palacios, Shane Wynn, Tony
Foster and Davonte Morgan for playing time at either one of the safety
or corner positions.
“I actually heard about Latwan’s play but I really haven’t seen him hands on in person,” Bryant said. “But I seen his highlight tape and he looks like a good player that we probably would need. I’m not for sure yet. I’ll have to meet him in person and talk to him a little bit.”
Bryant’s not about to just anoint Anderson as a starter for any position on the team just yet.
“He’s going to have to come in and prove himself again, transferring over to our school,” Bryant said. “We’re going to see if he fits in, in our program, or not so we’re looking forward to seeing that. He’s not just going to get a job because his name is Latwan Anderson. I
know he’s a top player in the state and also in the country, but again
he’s still going to have to prove himself to us as a team. And with me
being a team captain this year, I’m trying to see what he’s all about
and if he can live up to the hype.”
They’re prepared to welcome him with open arms either way.
“If he’s really that good, we’ll be happy to bring him in as a impact
player to our team and we’ll be looking forward for him to come if he’s
really that good,” Bryant said. “I’m
not for sure if Aaron is playing safety this year but as of now he
still will be our starting safety so, like I said, Latwan is still
going to have to come in and show us something.”
But adding a talent like Anderson on the roster is certainly a good thing overall for Bryant and his teammates. At
least on paper now anyway, Glenville, in Bryant and Anderson, has two
of the top safety/cornerback prospects in all of Ohio and neither of
them currently have an offer from Ohio State.
“Right now I’ll pretty much say that I’m pretty excited to see him and
talk to him a couple of times and see what he’s all about,” Bryant said. “But overall it’s all right.”