Tom Hanson: Kilton Anderson signing with Fresno State shows his move turned out for best

TOM HANSON
Former Naples High School quarterback Kilton Anderson, who played his senior season at a high school in Washington state, fills out his college paperwork to sign with Fresno State in Naples, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Anderson, who has moved back to Naples, officially signed with Fresno State on Wednesday, Feb. 5. FSBulldogs/Josh Webb

Former Naples High School quarterback Kilton Anderson, who played his senior season at a high school in Washington state, fills out his college paperwork to sign with Fresno State in Naples, Fla., on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. Anderson, who has moved back to Naples, officially signed with Fresno State on Wednesday, Feb. 5. FSBulldogs/Josh Webb

Prep football highlights: Naples' Kilton Anderson

Eagles dual-threat quarterback

— 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 thanson@naplesnews.com or followed on Twitter at @tomhansonjr.

© 2014 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 9

kfv6214 writes:

Tom, since you're such a great prognosticator, where will Kilton's father be in his career when Kilton finishes his red shirt? Here's a hint, farther along than you. Write whatever you want about these players, but for you to begin commenting on the career moves of their parents when you write about high school athletes in...hold on while I yawn...Naples Florida? Really? Sportswriters in Miami covering the community college scene have more cred. Then to come back today and feel the need to mention that his father called to express his displeasure with your comment....wow. Hang tough Tom, I'm sure there will be some 8 yr old girls softball team to write about in August.

volochine writes:

I'm not as upset as kfv6214, but I would like to know what job did Kilton's father have to enable him to transfer to, and why did he pick Seattle?

Job Lock usually prevents people from having flexibility like this.

Mr. Hanson fails to detail the scholastic side of Mr. Anderson. He doesn't mention anything about grades.

Could this be another Phillip Rivers story? Rivers recently stated that he wanted to play for Notre Dame, but they never were interested in him. He was offered rides at Auburn and Alabama but told he would never start. Rivers ended up with a great career at North Carolina State. Not sure he graduated.

Hapa writes:

The sad part about this story ( I don't even think it merits a story) is that a spoiled brat father and son lied. Why did they feel compelled to make up a whole big story. They moved to Washington to give their son a better shot at a scholarship..simple. By the way Fresno has a reputation for turning out duds at the position..both Carr's and mostly backups at the NFL level. I'm betting he transfers after a year at Fresno because he will probably not star. Next step JUCO

TMson writes:

Seems to me that people are a little jealous that the kid up and left for his own good, rather than the good of Naples High football…. who cares that he left to better himself. He knew with that boring offense that Naples runs he didn't have a shot at getting noticed. Oh and BTW Hapa, being a back up QB in the NFL might possibly be the best job… I bet its a hell of a lot better than what your doing. Volochine, whats it matter what his grades are? He's obviously smart enough to get into the school, I don't recall many articles of High School athletes being mentioned about grades when signing an ATHLETIC scholarship… grades matter a bit more when getting an ACADEMIC scholarship…and whats it matter what his father does?

volochine writes:

Seriously, TM? Obviously, I touched a nerve of yours about education. My apology.

The reporter failed to mention how this father could move to different area of the country, with no cost. I am curious.

TMson, if you think talent is more important than brains in football, you are seriously mistaken.

The combine should put more emphasis on education before draft day.

Tom Brady is the best example. Another Michigan QB to make the pros.

bigpoppy writes:

This profile on Anderson says he is an honor student. Not that it really matters.
http://www.northwestprepreport.com/at...

DCoop writes:

So,Kramer lost one of his recruits for a year. All that did was cost his staff the extra effort to recruit the rest of the Naples area High schools & the Naples Gators.

Been_around writes:

in response to DCoop:

So,Kramer lost one of his recruits for a year. All that did was cost his staff the extra effort to recruit the rest of the Naples area High schools & the Naples Gators.

That is funny that you should mention the gators....you know that every high school in the county has their own youth team that is a feeder to their program. Kramer knows kids and he knows how to get them excited about the game and their future. Those gator kids WANT to and are very EXCITED to continue the legacy when they get into high school. You tell me....why would a kid want to go to any of the other schools in the city? I am not defending any coach in the city but Kramer does not have to recruit.

You watch what happens at Lely the next few years with Culmer at the helm. Culmer is intelligent and he knows what it takes to be successful as a high school coach. The Seminoles (Lely's youth feeder team) will be running the Lely offense for sure! And again, as I predicted previously, Culmer is headed for bigger and better things. Unless he decides that his challenge is here in Naples, he will be gone after 3 more years if not before....

underwhelmed writes:

Prediction: Within a year Kilton will transfer to another school His dad will claim Fresno State is not showcasing Kilton's talents and Kilton needs a new environment. Three years later, a college nomad, Kilton will disappear into obscurity.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features