WESTVIEW, Fla. – Soccer players usually watch movies with coaches or teammates.
But when four-star cornerback and Pitt signatory Khalil Anderson does so, he has a different perspective than most.
Anderson’s father Barry, a 14-year-old NFL official, remains one of his son’s most important teachers as he prepares for the next step in his career.
“We watch a lot of college and NFL movies together and he’s still helping me improve my game,” said Anderson. “He taught me things about the importance of taking the right steps before receivers break their routes, that sort of thing.”
Barry Anderson, an outstanding defender in NC State, has never suffered defeat in the NFL.
Instead, he’s been in charge of over 200 games on Sundays, including referee Super Bowl LIV in Miami last February in Miami.
And two months ago, Anderson proudly watched his father make history as part of the first all-black crew to run an NFL game in the league’s 100-year history.
“Football was my dad’s whole life,” said Anderson. “It was great to see how he took his passion for the game as a player and brought it to office.”
Barry Anderson saw Khalil, his youngest of three sons, make his own potential path to becoming a football star. Anderson, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior at Riverwood High in Atlanta, is number 25 nationwide cornerbacks according to 247Sports.com.
He showed a glimpse of his talents last Sunday when he played for Team Georgia in the Georgia-Florida All-Star game in Miami.
Anderson fell behind in one-on-one conversations and threw a deep throw down the sideline. The game was canceled by roughing the passerby penalty, but showed his playful skills and instincts.
Pitt Signer Kahlil Anderson with a selection in the @FLvsGAGame. However, it is being recalled for a late hit. pic.twitter.com/CUzlEDnRwu
– Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) January 17, 2021
Anderson played on four defensive series and also handled the punt returns for Team Georgia, another aspect of his game that caught Pitt’s attention during the recruitment process.
Anderson, a huge fan of Rams’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey, grew up in a soccer family. His older brother played soccer in Georgia State. His second cousin Steve Wallace and his father’s brother-in-law, Bobby Hamilton, each played in the NFL.
After a junior breakout season in which he had seven interceptions, Anderson was named All-Region Team and Defensive Player of the Year by the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Anderson received scholarship offers from 16 schools including Michigan State, Coastal Carolina, Kansas, Miami, Penn State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Duke, and Kansas State.
But Anderson said he never wavered in his decision to join Pitt.
“Pittsburgh has a very good culture with its coaches,” Anderson told Pittsburgh Sports Now last weekend. “You showed me a lot of love as a person. Every discussion was very direct and open. A big part of the recruiting for me was school taking the time to know me as a person. Now it’s up to me to do what I’m supposed to do on and off the field. “
Anderson is one of four incoming cornerbacks for the Panthers, who went 6-5 in 2020 and whose 2021 recruiting class is ranked 22nd in the nation by 247Sports.com and 4th on the ACC.
Pitt, who finished ninth in FBS schools with 14 interceptions last season, signed Tamarion Crumpley (Cincinnati, OH) and Noah Biglow (Seffner, Florida) in December. Pitt added another promise when Phillip O’Brien Jr. (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) Recently switched engagements from Auburn to Pitt.
Anderson will fight for the season with 2020 commits and Georgian colleagues Rashad Battle and Hunter Sellers as well as Floridian Jahvante Royal.
“It’s going to be a great competition and I think we can change the whole culture,” said Anderson. “We can come in there and make a difference right away and help shake up the ACC. Once we bring the offense together, it will be something to see. “