February 1, 2012
For Ansley, a little something extra helped him decide
Divine Intervention helped Marshall land Eric Ansley, a 6-foot-7, 280-pound offensive tackle from Charles Drew High School in Georgia.
Although he only made it official by signing his Letter of Intend today, Ansley made his decision on January 22, the final day of his final official visit. He was flying home from Western Kentucky, one of three finalists along with Marshall and Ohio.
"I was leaning toward Marshall the entire time," said Ansley, who visited the Conference USA school on January 13-14. "I asked God which college I should attend. I looked out the window of the airplane, and I saw the clouds form the shape of an M. It was amazing. I couldn't believe it. I just felt Marshall was where I'm destined to go."
Ansley decided to commit to Marshall the next day. He signed his national letter of intent to play for the Thundering Herd today during a ceremony at his school.
"First of all, I liked how the whole community loves Marshall," said Ansley, who also received scholarship offers from Memphis and multiple Division I-AA schools such as Alabama State, Chattanooga and Elon. "It's really a college town. I love the coaches and players. I felt the most comfortable with Marshall out of the schools I had to choose from."
Ansley is an under-the-radar recruit who could prove to be one of the biggest steals in this year's recruiting class.
"I think I'm really underrated," said Ansley, whose lead recruiter is defensive line coach Fred Tate. "I think that comes from not being noticed by scouts and recruiting agencies and newspapers. There is a page that says Georgia's Top 125, and I'm not on there. I looked up the players on the internet and looked at their highlight films. I feel like I'm their caliber or better."
Charter Drew is in just its third year of existence. It did not participate in varsity football in its first year. It was 2-8 in its second year and 7-4 in its third year, when it made the state playoffs for the first time in school history.
"I think that is another thing that hurt me," said Ansley, who transferred to Charter Drew from Eagle's Landing Christian Academy before his junior year. "Nobody really paid attention to us. My senior year was my breakout season."
Ansley is one of the first Division I athletes to graduate from Charter Drew.
"It's an honor," he said.
Charter Drew's reigning Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Ansley said he will be academically eligible. He plans to major in computer science and animation.
"I'm good to go," he said.
Jacob Messer is the managing editor for HerdNation.com. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments and feedback are welcome.
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