BRADENTON -- Jordan Anthony just wants to get on the football field.
Whatever it takes.
So when the heralded junior linebacker, who has 13 college offers, arrived at IMG Academy this past summer from Silver Springs, Md., and was told he was needed on offense as a running back this fall, he didn't scoff at the position change.
"That first week, I'm like, 'I'm just trying to get on the field any way I can,'" Anthony said.
Never miss a local story.
Even an injury in the Sept. 19 clash at Bergen (Oradell, N.J.) Catholic hasn't slowed down the 6-foot-1, 217-pound Anthony's desire to play and practice.
"We thought he broke his foot," head coach Kevin Wright said. "It was that bad and they X-rayed it, and eventually determined it wasn't broken. But he was out here (at practice) after 10 days, he was trying to get into a game last week. ... I said, 'Let's just hold and let it get better.' So that tells what kind of kid he is and what his mindset's like."
Early season injuries to returning running backs Jack Wegher and Tony Jones dictated additional depth at running back. Anthony stepped in and racked up a team-best 100 rushing yards (5.26 yards per carry) through the first three games.
"I hate to use superlatives like Marshawn Lynch, but he's a guy that would probably rather run over you than run around you," Wright said.
A glimpse into that bulldozing, physical style came in Week 3 against Cocoa, which was ranked 12th in the nation by USA Today at the time. Anthony took a third-quarter handoff up the middle and dragged four Cocoa defenders for a ride during a 14-yard run for a first down.
"A lot of times, people tell me I should've cut out this way, you'd probably have a touchdown," Anthony said. "Me, it's not like I like running over people, but I feel like it's the right way to do it."
Anthony's received offers from Division I programs such as Clemson, Auburn, Michigan and Oklahoma, while receiving interest in-state from Florida State and Florida, though no offers from those two have come yet.
In each of those cases, colleges are looking at him at his former linebacker position.
"Who knew he could play at a high level like this as a running back against quality teams," Wright said. "I'm interested when I talk to college coaches, 'Where do you see him? Where do you see him as?' I think he's a big, strong athlete wherever the hole is on your team, they'll be like us and probably be able to fit him in."
But Anthony's athletic makeup, which Wright describes as "raw," made the transition to running back an easy one.
A quick study, Anthony picked up the new offense under Wright, who is in his first year as IMG's head coach, during fall camp without much issue.
"He's been a pretty easy fit," Wright said. "He's a smart kid, so he doesn't have to be told twice very often. He gets it, he processing things quickly."
But running back isn't just about toting the ball, and Anthony's development took longer as a blocker in IMG's pass-heavy offense, as well as with his receiving skills. His coach said both have been refined this fall.
"We've got three or four protection schemes, where he has to know who to block and step up and get it done," Wright said. "It's been a pretty simplistic transition. ... He's in the film room, he's watching (and) he's getting better."
Anthony is expected back this week against Southern Lab (Baton Rouge, La.) as the Ascenders are also expected to have a full complement of running backs at near 100 percent health for the first time this season.
This week's game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday.