Prep football highlights: Naples' Kilton Anderson
Eagles dual-threat quarterback
Photo by WILLIAM DESHAZER, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo
Kilton Anderson’s football career is moving more than 3,300 miles.
Don’t be sad for him. The former Naples High signal-caller isn’t heartbroken. The all-state quarterback most likely will throw for more than 3,300 yards for his new team, Skyline High School outside of Seattle.
Anderson is heading to high school quarterback paradise.
“For sure,” Anderson said Sunday. “It’s a perfect place if you’re a quarterback.”
Skyline is a passing factory that has won the Washington state football championship five of the last six years. The quarterbacks on those state title teams earned scholarships from BCS schools, Southern California (USC) and Kansas, and are in line to be starters.
Anderson also will be working with a quarterbacks guru who has a testimonial from NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.
So who can blame Anderson, or his family, for leaving Naples? Who can second guess them for school shopping? They are only doing what they believe is best for Kilton. The family says the move is because of the father’s career. The move will be most beneficial for Kilton’s career.
Anderson admits the move and Skyline’s quarterback reputation will showcase his cannon arm and enhance his chance for a scholarship to a contending BCS school.
“All respect to coach (Bill) Kramer and the program but the (Naples) system is tough for recruiting,” said Anderson, who ran for 28 touchdowns last season but threw for only 17. “I have talked to a thousand schools and they all still have the same question: Do you have the arm to play at the next level?”
Anderson isn’t criticizing the Naples High football program. Kramer is a gridiron genius. He’s won state titles. He has sent countless kids to college. He unfortunately operates a run-orientated balanced offense.
Kramer will never be Don Coryell, the San Diego Chargers aerial-minded coach from 1978-86 who earned the nickname Air Coryell. To be fair, Naples does throw the ball and can show off a quarterback’s arm. But most of Naples’ passing last season came in the first half of games and then the Golden Eagles had to shut it down because they were blowing out their opponents.
Kramer can’t apologize for leading the state in scoring. He can run any offense he wants to, but he chooses to win. He’s about the team concept. He’s not going to cater to any individual player.
No one should be surprised that the Andersons sought out a school that they believe will showcase their son’s individual talents. If he was a piano protegee, would anyone be upset if they decided to move to New York City and enrolled him in The Juillard School?
When Anderson’s father, Eric, had a chance to relocate with his job, the family went school shopping. They went to Miami and even considered a transfer to perennial-powerhouse Northwestern High School. But Kilton Anderson said a move across Alligator Alley would have been a slap in Kramer’s face.
The Andersons could have gone to Jacksonville or San Jose, Calif. They settled on Seattle.
Skyline High School, located in Sammamish, might be the Julliard’s equivalent for quarterbacks who want to be on the biggest stage. Anderson is replacing Max Browne, the No. 1 high school quarterback in the country last season.
For his Skyline career, Browne threw for 12,951 yards and 146 touchdowns. He won two state titles and was twice named the Washington state Player of the Year. He’s already pushing to be USC’s starting QB as a true freshman.
Before Browne, Jake Heaps quarterbacked Skyline to three straight titles (2007-09). He also was the No. 1 rated high school quarterback in the country. He got a scholarship to BYU and has since transferred to Kansas, where he is expected to be a starter as a redshirt junior.
Now comes the Kilton Anderson-era at Skyline. Last year at Naples, he threw for 1,288 yards and 17 touchdowns, and ran for 952 yards and 28 scores. Don’t be surprised if he triples his passing numbers and scholarship offers playing in the Spartans’ spread offense.
Anderson said he knows all about the quarterback reputation at Skyline. He even got a tweet from Heaps, welcoming Anderson to the Skyline family.
“I’m going to have a lot on my shoulders,” said Anderson, who plans to be at Skyline at the end of the month when the Spartans start their spring practice. “But I am going to shoot for the stars.”
Anderson admits he wouldn’t be going to Skyline if Browne was still the quarterback. He said he wanted to go somewhere he could show off his passing ability and Skyline had a void.
“It was like a puzzle and it fit just right,” the nearly 6-foot-3, 205-pound Anderson said.
He said he also picked Skyline to improve his scholarship chances.
Anderson said the move is already paying dividends. In the past five days since making the announcement, he said he was contacted, via Twitter and Facebook, by California, Oregon State and Utah State. He had already been talking to Washington and BYU. The schools requested highlight film and invited him to camps. Right now, he only has one Division I offer: from South Alabama. Not exactly sexy-quarterback U.
“I haven’t proven myself to these schools,” said Anderson, who earned MVP honors at an Elite-100 Camp in Plant City on Sunday. “And Skyline is a perfect place for me to show them I have the ability to play at the next level.”
For Anderson, the caveat of the move is quarterbacks guru Taylor Barton. The former University of Washington signal-caller has the Brett-Favre touch with quarterbacks, teaching them skills and landing them big-time scholarships. He runs a football academy in the Northwest and has given personal instruction to some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. A picture on the Barton Football Academy website shows some of the Barton alumnus: Dan Orlovsky (Detroit Lions), Brad Smith (New York Jets and Buffalo Bills), Carson Palmer (Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders, and Arizona Cardinals), Kyle Orton (Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos), Derek Anderson (Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers).
“The training and coaching I received at Barton Camps when I was younger was instrumental in helping me become the player I am today,” says Rodgers’ testimonial on the website.
Barton also works with Browne and Heaps. He runs a few of his camps at Skyline High School. Guess who went to one of Barton’s camps a few weeks ago?
“Coach Barton and I clicked right away,” Anderson said of the trip to Washington last month. “He’s already helped me and I am sure I am only going to get better with his advice.”
Anderson said he doesn’t have a dream college scholarship scenario. Obviously, he’ll want to be at a school that throws the ball. He said he’s also interested in a college with a strong business school. He wants to get a degree in entrepreneurship. He said one day he wants to own a car dealership.
He said the last few days have been a whirlwind but an education.
Sure this is Naples High’s loss, but it’s Kilton Anderson’s future.
It’s strictly a business move. It’s a move the 18-year-old said will benefit his career — much more than his father’s.
We’ll all be watching and following Anderson from 3,300 miles away.
Email managing sports editor Tom Hanson at email@example.com