Portrait by Danny Fulgencio.
Joining an Ivy League football program amidst a pandemic? No problem. A three-sport athlete at St. Mark’s, Anthony Andrews is headed to Yale this fall to join the Bulldogs’ football team and study engineering. In high school, Andrews played basketball and ran track. He especially left his mark on the football program as quarterback, co-captain, offensive MVP and earning all-conference honors. Life as a St. Mark’s student-athlete prepared him well for his next chapter.
What’s it like being a student-athlete at St. Mark’s?
It is definitely challenging. We had practice from 4-6 every day, lifts twice during the week, then watched film and lifted again on Saturdays. That schedule on top of hours of homework leads to a lot of late nights, but everyone goes through it. It is necessary to be successful.
What advice would you give to other student-athletes?
Having a culminating end goal in mind is something that will keep you on track. I was more focused on that end goal during my senior year than I was my junior year and it paid off.
How has the St. Mark’s coaching staff played a role in your football career?
Coach Epperson was my advisor and also the head coach during my first three years of high school, so we had a good relationship. He knew that I wanted to be recruited and gave me opportunities to play. He worked with the defensive backs, so I was able to learn from him. At the beginning of my senior year, Coach Lee became the head coach. He instilled a winning attitude in the whole team.
Which colleges did you receive football offers from?
Yale, SMU, Eastern Illinois, Illinois State, Rose-Hulman, Fordham, North Carolina A&T and Southern Nazarene made offers.
What are you looking forward to about college football?
I’m looking forward to the college football environment and having access to on-campus facilities since here I usually have to drive at least 30 minutes to access the gym or weight room.
You were committed to SMU, but recently switched to Yale. What led you to this change?
My decision to commit to a school was very challenging. I was looking for a college that would allow me to play football and study engineering. That combination was hard to find but SMU allowed me to do both and the coaching staff was extremely supportive. I was looking forward to going to SMU but chose to make the switch when I was offered the opportunity to attend Yale in early June. I was actively recruited by coach Reno and thought that Yale would offer me the best opportunities to thrive. I am excited to be a bulldog!
The Ivy League isn’t playing fall sports in 2020 because of coronavirus. Has this been difficult for you and your future teammates?
This is another question that many people have asked me. It’s disappointing to think that I won’t be able to play football next year, but my teammates and I are looking forward to taking this time to better ourselves, especially the freshmen. In the Ivy League, there are no redshirts, so this year “off” has become a de facto redshirt year for us. We have been given a year to study the playbook, get acclimated to academics at Yale, get a year in the weight room under our belts, and a year to bond with each other.
What are the plans for Yale’s team in the fall?
For the freshmen, we will be on campus in the fall and we will still have workouts with a certain number of people allowed inside the gym. We will also have team Zoom meetings. I think as time progresses and if the COVID situation gets better in Connecticut, we will get to do more things as a team.
What do you want to be “when you grow up”?
Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to be an engineer and a football player. Every kid dreams of being a pro athlete in the NFL. That is not my primary goal, but I would be open to playing professional football and later work as an engineer.
Who is your role model and why?
Quarterback Kyle Murray from the Arizona Cardinals. Like myself, he is soft-spoken and there’s never any negative headlines surrounding him. He is the greatest player to have ever played high school football. I wish to have his success on the field and his demeanor off the field.
Tell a bit about your family. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a sibling, parent, relative, or family friend?
My mother is an educator at my former school, St. Philip’s School and Community Center. My dad is an engineer at Love Field Airport. My eldest sister is a University of North Texas graduate and is currently working as a stylist. My other sister is going into her senior year at Howard University. The best advice that they gave me was to listen before you speak.