When Bo Pelini talked about the cornerback position toward the end of last season, he said that it was “staggeringly thin” once he got a real good look at the situation. You can’t cure that in one season, so last year’s crop of commits at the position for 2009 was just a start.
Well, West Helena, Arkansas standout Anterrio Sloan now adds himself as the first cornerback of this new recruiting class, keeping that momentum going.
But it wasn’t the depth chart which pushed Sloan, a 5-9, 170 pounds DB sporting reportedly 4.48-speed, to pull the trigger for NU.
“It was the way Coach Sanders came at me, how he talked to me and the message he had,” Sloan said of Nebraska’s second-year Secondary Coach Marvin Sanders. “He was straight with me. He asked me about my life, told me about his and it wasn’t like what other coaches say.”
Sitting on five offers right now one might think that the process as early as it is, isn’t one which is even close to done for most players. They want to play the field, so to speak, see what’s what and visit as many schools as they can. But for Sloan, who will make his first visit to Nebraska for the Spring Game on April 18th, that’s not the road he wanted to take. “I want to concentrate on me, my academics and enjoy my senior year. I didn’t want to mess around with this for the entire season,” said Sloan, who reports a 3.4 GPA. “I wanted to just think about the future and not worry about where that is going to be.”
One of the other big reasons Sloan chose Nebraska was because they had a major right up his alley. It’s not what you could expect, especially of a defensive back coming off a season where he notched 50 tackles, two of them sacks, along with five interceptions, two of which he took back for touchdowns.
“I have wanted to be a pharmacist all my life. My mom is a nurse, and I wanted to take Pharmacy in college,” Sloan said.
But, of course, there is football, too, and Sloan said that Nebraska had enough good things in that area, too. “I did all the studying I felt I needed to do, and I talked with my coaches about everything,” said Sloan who committed with offers from Nebraska, Mississippi, Texas A&M, Kentucky and Hawaii. “Nebraska is a big-time program, and I like the way they play defense. They are giving the offense a different look every single play,” he said.
That suits Sloan just fine, because that’s how he plays down at Central High School in West Helena. “We play a lot of “Man” or we play “Cover 4.” It gives cornerbacks a lot of chances to make plays,” he said. At his size most will say that Sloan doesn’t fit the new stereotype of cornerbacks. He’s not tall enough to hang with the ever-growing wide receivers. Sloan is used to that, but as you can imagine he’s seen his share of bigger receivers already. “That’s all I see. They are all bigger than I am, but you just have to know how to play them,” he said. “You get into their chest, play them physical and don’t let them intimidate you. You can win or lose that battle right there at the line. If you play scared you are going to get beat.”
Again, his trip up to Nebraska for the Spring Game will be his first opportunity to set foot inside the Husker state. With the offers he has now, it stands to reason that other schools might still be jumping into the fray. That doesn’t matter to him, because this decision was made for a reason. He said this is where he wants to go. “When I commit, that’s it. I don’t change my mind, because I committed for a reason,” he said. “Nebraska is where I want to be. They have the kind of coaches I want to play for and they are a great tradition.
“I don’t care who else offers me. I committed to Nebraska. That’s where I am going to go.”