GREENVILLE – Kaleb Anderson wants to come back to Greenville when he’s done with his college studies, but for now he’s enjoying the opportunity to continue his football career at Wilmington College.
“I think that it’s a very good opportunity,” the Greenville senior said after committing to Wilmington on Wednesday. “I’m very blessed to be able to do it.”
Anderson, the son of Kelly and Corby Anderson, had several NCAA Division III programs recruit him, but new head coach Bryan Moore made a strong impression on him, leading Anderson to join the Quakers.
“I had a lot of schools recruit me at the D-III level,” Anderson said. “So Wilmington just really stood out to me because of their coach; they’ve got a new coach this year. They went 2-8 last year, but they’re looking to improve every year until we graduate with a chance of winning an (Ohio Athletic Conference) championship my senior year.”
Wilmington hasn’t had a winning season since 2000 when it went 7-3 during its first season as a member of the OAC, but Anderson sees a program that is moving in the right direction and is happy to be part of the Quakers’ resurgence.
“It’s really exciting,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to it. Especially coming out of Greenville, I kind of feel like I have some tools that (Coach Aaron) Shaffer and other coaches have taught me to be able to carry to them that they don’t have down there besides one other Greenville player, which is Zach Phillips.”
Greenville alumnus Zach Phillips is a wide receiver for Wilmington and will be joined by Anderson and Greenville senior Ethan Emrick, who committed to Wilmington alongside Anderson on Wednesday.
“It’s neat to have a couple guys going off to the same place,” Shaffer said. “I’m excited for the opportunities that Kaleb and Ethan are going to have. And obviously having a familiar face next to you when you’re two-and-a-half, three hours from home and living on your own for the first time is obviously going to be a benefit and not to mention we’ve also got Zach Phillips down there playing right now so there’s a few guys that they’ll recognize and know. But it’s a tremendous opportunity for both of them and their families to have the chance to go off and do this.”
Anderson and Emrick plan on rooming together at Wilmington, which will help ease the transition. But Anderson wants to make sure he takes some time to experience life beyond Greenville.
“Me and Ethan are going to try to room together so we’ll definitely have a feel of home with each other,” Anderson said. “I think it’s good we have some Greenville kids, but it’s also good to kind of get away from Greenville and experience some other people.”
After college, Anderson plans to return to Greenville.
“I want to come back to Greenville,” said Anderson, who plans to major in business management in college with a minor in coaching. “I’ll probably end up having to commute to Dayton or somewhere close, but I want to live in Greenville, around Greenville, for the rest of my life.”
For the next several years, Anderson plans to be an offensive lineman for Wilmington. The Quakers will utilize him as a guard and center.
“They want me to be able to rotate around the line that way if somebody else goes down I’ll have the opportunity to play very early freshman or even sophomore year,” he said.
Shaffer expects Anderson to do well at Wilmington and thinks he already is a solid blocker in the running game.
“Kaleb is a really good run blocker,” Shaffer said. “He’s a physical kid. He likes contact. He understands the game fairly well. He’s going to hit the ground running in their run game. He’ll have some work to do in pass pro, but that’s not all that uncommon. He’s such a physical and aggressive player that he’s going to give himself a chance.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.