Falling Star Caught Nightmarish 1995 Behind Anthony

By Hayes, Matt | The Florida Times Union, August 25, 1996 | Go to article overview

Falling Star Caught Nightmarish 1995 Behind Anthony


Hayes, Matt, The Florida Times Union


GAINESVILLE -- Summers used to be different for Reidel Anthony,

when the work was easy and the rewards even sweeter.

He'd race anyone down steamy E Street in South Bay. Have your

money -- and be prepared to lose it.

That all ended this past summer, the summer he stayed at the

University of Florida for the first time to concentrate solely

on football. The dash for cash quickly turned into the race for

redemption. Meet the new Reidel Anthony, Florida's most

impressive wideout in practice this fall.

"I just worked out a little more and got a little stronger,"

Anthony said. "It's really no big deal."

Compared to his on- and off-the-field problems of last season,

it's a big step.

One of the nation's top underclassmen receivers as a freshman

in 1994, Anthony struggled last season to find a groove and

eventually was overshadowed by fellow sophomore Ike Hilliard.

He made a few big catches, and even had what many called the

turning play of the season with a 90-yard kickoff return for a

touchdown against Auburn.

But it wasn't near expectations -- which has made the

improvement at the beginning of his junior season even more

impressive.

"Reidel really looks good out there," said Florida coach Steve

Spurrier. "He had an excellent off-season lifting weights. He's

bigger, stronger, faster. He's running excellent routes and

catching nearly everything thrown his way."

Here's a better assessment of Anthony's progress: Right now,

Spurrier says, Anthony and Hilliard -- a preseason All-America

selection -- are equal in ability.

"Reidel is going to surprise a lot of people this year,"

Hilliard said. "But he won't surprise me or anyone else on this

team. We know what kind of player he can be. I think everyone

kind of forgot about Reidel last year."

Anthony's turbulent and tumultuous season was a big factor. It

began with a one-game suspension for his part in the fraudulent

use of a credit card. …

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