Prep football highlights: Naples' Kilton Anderson
Eagles dual-threat quarterback
NAPLES — Naples’ Kilton Anderson pulled off the ultimate Hail Mary for a high school quarterback.
He threw deep — going to school all the way to Washington — for his senior season.
And he scored — big time.
Anderson hauled in a scholarship to Fresno State — a BCS school with a gaudy reputation for airing it out and landing quarterbacks high in the NFL Draft.
This season, Fresno QB Derek Carr, the little brother of former NFL first-rounder David Carr, threw for more than 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns. Derek Carr is projected to be the second quarterback drafted in May. Five years from now (throw in a redshirt year since Fresno has five quarterbacks on the roster), Kilton Anderson could be high on Mel Kiper’s draft board.
If so, he will point to a brilliant business move made by his parents.
Anderson left Naples High as the star of his team. He left after leading the Golden Eagles to the regional championship game. But Anderson and his family weren’t interested in successful seasons. They weren’t interested in "W’s."
They wanted what was best for their son. They wanted to hit the Mega Millions.
Anderson wanted to be somewhere he could show off his arm and not his feet.
It’s no secret the Naples High offense is going to run as much as the Jamaican 4X100 relay team. Every opposing defense knows Naples is going to run 80 percent of the time, and coach Bill Kramer’s system is so good that they can’t stop it.
So facing another year of run-first, run-second and throw every once in a while to keep the defense off balance, it was no surprise the Andersons went school shopping. I’m not talking about shirts, pants and shoes. The Andersons’ school shopping included spread offenses, with speedy wide receivers, a large offensive line for protection, and an opening at quarterback.
At the time, they danced around the questions. They said Kilton’s father had a chance to transfer to several spots, and picked the Seattle area and Skyline High School, which happened to send its last two quarterbacks to top-ranked Division I BCS schools.
Kilton’s father called and complained after I wrote that the move would help Kilton’s career more than his. But the facts speak for themselves.
Before leaving Naples, the only scholarship offer Kilton received came from South Alabama. Last season, South Alabama threw for a little more than 3,000 yards and 16 TDs.
So there is a big difference between getting a scholarship to Fresno State and South Alabama. Fresno State gives Anderson a chance to be on a Top 25 team. Fresno State gives him a chance to have Heisman Trophy aspirations. Fresno State will give him greater exposure to NFL scouts.
South Alabama just gives Anderson a shot.
Who knows what would have happened if Anderson stayed at Naples? Other schools, maybe ACC schools such as Georgia Tech or Wake Forest, could have called. We will never know.
The question comes: Is it OK to shop for schools if your son or daughter has a special talent?
Why not? If someone’s son or daughter is a great musician wouldn’t he or she move to New York and try to get them into The Juilliard School?
Parents are going to do what’s best for their son or daughter, within their capabilities.
The Andersons moved to the Seattle area for eight months. Kilton moved back to Naples in December, and is technically a student at Naples High taking dual-enrollment classes at Edison State College.
He used a picture of himself on the beach with Naples Pier as a backdrop to announce his signing with Fresno State.
No word on what he’ll major in at Fresno, but he might want to consider business. He’s already had a valuable lesson in the subject.
Tom Hanson is the Naples Daily News managing sports editor and can be contacted at email@example.com or followed on Twitter at @tomhansonjr.