Anthony Steen, offensive guard from Clarksdale-Lee Academy, (Miss.), has received four scholarship…
Steen talks about three recent visits
Steen was not exactly caught off guard by the offer from the Canes.
"I had spoken to Coach Punn at Miami a few times earlier on. He really liked my film that was up on Scout.com. They had been sounding more and more serious about offering me, so I kind of thought it was going to happen sooner than later, but you never know for sure until it is official."
The Clarksdale Aca product had a chance to take in a couple of instate visits last week.
"I went down to Hattiesburg last Sunday to take pictures for the Army All-American magazine, and we had an interview with Tom Lemming on USM's campus. After that, we met with the coaches and they showed us around. Some guy that worked for Tom had a bunch of the top players from Mississippi to come down there to take some pics and interview us. After that, we all left with the USM coaches and ended up being like a Jr Day."
Who were some of the players in attendance?
"I know Will Martin, Billy Autrey, Fletcher Cox, Kendrick Hardy, Clayton Moore, Dennis Thames, Tyler Russell, Josh Boyd, and Tracey Lampley were there. There were quite a few more. I just do not know of their names."
What new did Steen learn about the first school who offered him a scholarship?
"I thought USM was smaller than they are. Their campus is a good size. They have some nice people over there. I talked to their President. They are really tight about getting their education over there. They said they had the 4th highest graduation percentage out of all of the bowl teams last year. I did not know they were that high on education. They also talked about the special things they could do for you if you had a learning disability. They said they were more aggressive in helping students with learning disabilities than other schools. Their President said education comes first and that was important to her. I did not know that Derrick Nix played there. I saw him at Ole Miss on Wednesday before I went on my visit. He is their RB's coach now. They are building on to their stadium now. There is going to be a whole new side put up. It is a nice campus. I also went to LSU's Jr Day the day before."
How did Anthony's visit to Ole Miss go on Wednesday?
"I went to their scrimmage. Coach (Derrick) Nix has been trying to get me up there for a while. He wanted me to come up to their "Invite Only" Jr Day the past Saturday but I had already committed to going to LSU's, so I came on Wednesday instead. I brought my Principle with me. He played at Ole Miss. Ricky Weiss told me that they recruited him as a QB but he ended up at defensive tackle because he gained some weight. Mr. Weiss is a huge Ole Miss guy, and he is been telling me the positives of playing for the state flagship university."
Anthony also brought a family member over with him to Oxford.
"My father came up to Ole Miss with me too. We saw them stretch, broke up during the drills, and saw them practice. We talked to the coaches after practice. They had a full scrimmage and I saw the QB (Jevan Snead) from Texas play. He looked good. He is going to be a good QB for sure. After the scrimmage, we spoke to their coaches and took a tour in their indoor facility. They had somebody take us to the weight room, and he showed us how to gain weight and muscle. It is a nice set up they have."
While Anthony has been to Oxford on several past occasions, this was the first time he had seen the new staff.
"They were all nice coaches. On their team, what impressed me the most was their QB. He had an arm on him. It looked like some of their defensive linemen needed to get in the weight room. Some of them looked pretty good, but some of them needed to get some fat off. Their first string offensive line looked real good. They have 4 seniors, but after them and Rishaw (Johnson), they did not look as good as the first unit. They said they were short on some OL and needed to recruit some numbers. Coach Markuson said they wanted to sign 6 offensive linemen. I think I would have a chance to play pretty quickly if I went there. I was also real impressed with #47 at LB (Tony Fein). He is a big guy. I liked their indoor facility. It is a real nice place. Most places are not going to have an IPF that nice or big. LSU's was not that nice, and Memphis' was only like 40 yards or something. I have not seen any IPF's like Ole Miss'."
Steen earlier commented that he was hoping to get some clarification on his scholarship status with Ole Miss. Did that conversation ever come up?
"No, we spoke with Coach Nix most of the time. He said he would contact me about it. They want me to come over to their camp where they can see me play in person first."
How did LSU's Jr Day visit go?
"We went down there Saturday morning. When I got up there. It was a lot different than I thought. I figured it would be a nice huge campus but it was compact. But what really turned me off is that when you took one step off of campus, it was like Clarksdale, like you were in the ghetto. I went to a store right off of their campus and it was rough. That city reminds me a lot of Clarksdale, to be honest. But the Spring game had a lot of people there. We walked down on the field and they showed us the room with all of their famous past players. They got their national championship rings, which was pretty cool. They had some guy on their team that was kicked off of Miami's team come talk to us. His name was Ty Smith. He told us about how miserable he was during his first year at LSU because it was such a slower pace than it was at Miami. But he said once he got adjusted to the slow pace around LSU, it was worth coming there. The main thing that he wanted us to know was that you had to get like 40% of your graduation work completed after your first year at LSU. He said it is real difficult staying in school and passing those classes your first year. But after your first year, it is all down hill and easy. We were suppose to go to some picnic the next day, but we left early and went back home."
Did Anthony get a chance to talk to the LSU coaches before he went back home?
"No sir. I just talked to the people who were giving us the tour."
What stood out about LSU?
"My parents liked the education thing. They are the only school that gives you on line help. You can go on line and click on this or that and get help. And after doing your 40% in the first year, you cruise after that."
Who had been recruiting Anthony to come visit LSU?
"I have been talking to Coach Joe Robinson He is their special teams coach. He said he was new. He just came over from Arizona, I think. Coach just wanted me to come down for their Jr Day so I did. We email each other back and forth."
Now that Steen has been offered by USM, Alabama, FSU, and Miami; who is next in line?
"I really do not know. I was hoping it was going to be Ole Miss, but now it looks like it will be at least to their camp before I know for sure."
Which camps will Anthony attend this summer?
"I am not quite sure. I might go to Alabama. My parents want to go over to Alabama because they have not seen their campus yet. I will probably go over to Ole Miss' so I can try out for them. Our team will probably go back to North Alabama's 7 on 7 camp. I just do not know for sure yet."
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