It's been a hectic few weeks for Chazz Anderson and his family. Of the original group of Cincinnati verbals, no one seemed more solid than Anderson‘s. Chazz had attended at least five games at Nippert this fall and would often even refer to himself as a Bearcat on these unofficial visits. Chazz seemingly couldn't wait to get on the Clifton campus and begin his UC career as a signal caller. He turned away Big Ten scholarships offers because those schools looked at him as an "athlete" and not a quarterback, but when Mark Dantonio became the head football coach at Michigan State, a jackhammer began pounding away at the earlier plans that were reportedly set in stone.
Last weekend Chazz visited the East Lansing campus with Tiger teammate Brian Peters, and both were returning home late Thursday afternoon from their two day official visit to Cincinnati. Chazz's father, Tim Anderson, was anxiously awaiting his son's return. "We haven't changed anything. Chazz is on his way back here as we speak. He was at Cincinnati yesterday all day and left maybe an hour ago. Now I'll get the chance to sit down with him after he's had the chance to meet Coach Kelly. Cincinnati is still the place that we fell in love with. Hopefully after we meet Coach Kelly he'll reinforce our thoughts."
Tim admitted he accompanied Chazz to Michigan State last weekend and wasn't interested in commenting on whether or not Chazz had a scholarship offer from the Spartans.
As much as fans would like to see players commit to a school, sometimes recruits also commit to a combination of school, coaching staff and offensive/defensive system. That would seem to be the case with the Andersons since they are now clearly conflicted, according to Tim. "You deal with adversity like you live your life. You take one thing at a time. There are some things you can't control. This hasn't devastated us, but it has opened up another option. We do still have a commitment to Cincinnati, and sometimes things happen for the best. Coach Kelly likes to throw the ball, and how can you ask for anything better than that if you're a quarterback?"
The Andersons were partially attracted to Cincinnati because they had been told by Coach Dantonio himself that he and his staff would be in Cincinnati for Chazz's entire college career. Now Tim openly questioned whether Coach Kelly would remain with the Bearcats. "My concern is Coach Kelly will win 8 or 9 games next year. He's an offensive genius. Cincinnati's a great school, but those guys get plucked out of there. That's why Dantonio's gone. That's a concern of mine. I want my son to grow with someone that's going to stay and help him develop. Do you understand where I'm coming from as a father?" Tim was somewhat surprised to hear that Coach Kelly had stayed at Grand Valley State for 17 seasons.
As complicated as this has gotten, Tim knows his main priority is to do what's best for his son. "We're looking for the best fit. It's all about the fit. The bottom line is for him to get an education and a chance to play quarterback. Chazz wants to play quarterback, nothing other than quarterback, and we feel he can play quarterback at this level." Tim's emphatic answer may give some insight on how Michigan State is viewing Chazz. Tim continued, "My son and I went on a extensive search this summer to all the best quarterback camps, and he was head and shoulders above all of them. They tried to put labels on him as ‘too short.' We're still getting this about how Troy Smith came in as a athlete, but that's irrelevant. Too many people don‘t look at the intangibles, and Chazz is a winner. If he can win the Big East championship, he can win the Big Ten championship."
NCAA recruiting rules will likely force a decision within the next few days. There are alternating "dead periods" and "quiet periods" from December 18 until almost the middle of January. Bearcat Insider is planning to talk to the Andersons again this weekend.