Did Wyoming Find its Quarterback of the Future?
LARAMIE -- Southlake Carroll High School has been nothing short of a quarterback factory.
Chase Daniel went there. So did Kenny Hill, Greg McElroy and Quinn Ewers.
Ewers was the top high school recruit in the country, so in demand he skipped his senior year at one of the top powerhouse programs in the state of Texas. NIL money -- lots of it -- was riding on that decision.
His first stop was Ohio State. Now, he's QB1 at the University of Texas.
Kaden Anderson, who signed his letter of intent Wednesday to join the Wyoming football program, stepped in for Ewers and became one of the best pro-style quarterbacks in the Metroplex during his junior campaign, throwing for 3,036 yards and 34 touchdowns while leading the Dragons to a 14-1 record and a trip to the state semifinals.
With those stats came the accolades. Anderson was named to the 4-6A First Team All-District squad. Before the 2022 season, The Dallas Morning News listed him as one of the top recruits in the state. Dave Campbell's Texas Football Magazine called him one of the Top 10 QB prospects, referring to Anderson a "sleeper" and stating "He has the size and can spin it with the best of them."
Other QB's on that list: Jackson Arnold - Oklahoma, Austin Novosad - Oregon, Jake Strong - Texas Tech, Bo Edmundson - Michigan State (recently decommitted), Brennan Storer - Vanderbilt and Jacobe Robinson - Boston College.
Nice company, huh?
"Physically, he's what you're looking for, but then also, his football IQ is really good," Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl said about Anderson on Wednesday, the NCAA's early signing day. "So, we're excited about him."
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior, who tossed 14 touchdowns and threw for 1,113 yards, suffered an undisclosed lower-body injury in the third quarter of Carroll's seventh game of the season. He would never return to the field. The Dragons finished 13-1 overall, falling to Guyer in the 6A playoffs.
That setback could eventually benefit Anderson, who will enroll at UW before the spring semester.
"One of the things about having him come on campus (early) is working on his rehab here, but beyond the rehab is just to be able to be in the meeting rooms and things like that," Bohl said. "The system that he ran in high school is very similar to what we do here."
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Anderson, a three-star recruit, according to Rivals and 247 Sports, received early interest from Power-5 programs like Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and TCU. He eventually landed offers from in-state schools Texas State, Stephen F. Austin and Houston Christian. Bowling Green also extended a scholarship.
Bohl said offensive coordinator Tim Polasek spent time with Anderson in the spring. UW defensive tackles coach Oscar Giles, who played at UT and later won a national championship on Mack Brown's staff in Austin, also kept an eye on the signal caller.
Another thing that aided in Anderson's decision, Bohl said, was his familiarity with the region. His grandparents live in Boise, Idaho. His family has made many trips to Steamboat, Colorado.
"He has a real appreciation for the Spirit of the West," Bohl added. "So, it was a natural fit."
Gordie Haug Wednesday ran down the list of the Cowboys' 13 high school signees. He did that in alphabetical order. Anderson came first. Despite that injury, Wyoming didn't flinch. The program's recruiting coordinator laid out part of the reason why.
"He's a Top-100 recruit out of the state of Texas," Haug said. "Being a quarterback, and our likelihood of having a big, tall guy that can grow and be strong, I think he's going to be a pretty exciting player once he gets through (rehab) and starts rolling."
Anderson will join a QB room that includes starter Andrew Peasley, who has one season of eligibility remaining. Jayden Clemons, Hank Gibbs, Evan Svoboda and Caden Becker are also currently on the roster. Only Peasley and Clemons have appeared under center in a collegiate game.