HOMETOWN: Buford, Georgia
HIGH SCHOOL: Buford
247 COMPOSITE SCORE: .8305
NATIONAL RANKING: 1310
POSITION RANK: 89
STATE RANK: 138
OTHER OFFERS: Richmond, Charlotte, Mercer, Miami (OH), Middle Tennessee State, Ohio, UAB, Wake Forest, Western Michigan
Anyanwu is the 19th and most recent member of Northwestern’s class of 2017, having decommitted from Richmond and joining the Wildcats in late January. Injuries limited him to just six games his senior season, but clearly he did enough to impress Pat Fitzgerald and company. He’ll be sliding down from his high school position of safety to linebacker.
We were able to catch up with Anyanwu shortly after he signed.
“The SAM linebacker position is kind of what I did sometimes in high school, and it was more of what I liked to play, besides being able to play high and get interceptions, so the transition won’t be anything too crazy.” Anyanwu explained to InsideNU.
“I love the campus, I was shown just about everything and had every question answered,” Anyanwu told InsideNU. “Every player was extremely funny and I ate lunch with the linebackers. It was as if I was already on the team, they’re all great guys, and the coaches too.”
Anyanwu shows great closing speed and a propensity for tackling in open space. He’ll obviously have to load up on muscle to be able to compete against Big Ten linemen and tight ends, but he’s a solid athlete with great speed for an outside linebacker.
Anyanwu is more of a longterm project, as would be expected for a guy switching positions, but he has some impressive skills, and his experience at safety will help him in coverage. While Northwestern does lose two of its starting starting linebackers from 2016, there’s some depth there with Nate Hall, Brett Walsh and Nathan Fox as experienced returners, and younger guys such as Paddy Fisher also in place.