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September 26, 2005PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Football is Chazz Anderson's life. There is no other way to put it. He's been around it all his life and even some of his earliest memories are about the game that he loves dearly.
The 6-foot, 205-pound junior quarterback from Pickerington (Ohio) Central remembers when he was four and five going out to the varsity high school football practice and running around on the field with the offensive linemen. He remembers stories his father tells about playing in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys.
And playing in college has become Anderson's No. 1 goal in life. The good news is that he's got the talent to make that dream come true as he is expected to be one of Ohio's top signal-callers in the class of 2007.
"I really can honestly say that I'm all about football - both on and off the field," said Anderson, an all-area pick as a sophomore that can heave the football 70-plus yards or break you down with his Michael Vick like moves.
"I make sure and keep my grades up and things like that, but I want to play football. It's all I've wanted to do since I was a little kid. It's still my dream and will always be my dream."
Anderson said his dream about playing big-time football was first planted in his head by his father, who shared stories of his days in the NFL and took him to high school football practices when he was young.
"Football is a big part of my family," he said. "It's just so much part of my life. Every moment when I'm on the field, it's about getting better. When I'm off of it, I really don't do much else other than try to find a way to get better. I love it. It's my dream. It's my goal."
Central coach Jay Sharrett said Anderson has the goods to be one of the best in Ohio next year.
"It's in his blood obviously," Sharrett said. "But he's worked hard to become one of the best players I've ever been around. He's a regular kid off the field, but when he steps on it, he's a guy that can almost throw the ball 100 yards.
"He's the type of kid that just gets better and better as the season goes along."
Anderson said he feels he's gotten a lot better since his sophomore season, but also feels like he's still a little bit away from being a complete quarterback. This season he's been given the opportunity to change plays and audible more and more, and that's a leadership role he's relishing.
"Last year I was young, and I really listened to what coach said," Anderson said. "But this year, I know a lot of the coverage and defensive schemes better. I know what to expect, so I've been given a little more room to change things.
"I like that ability. It makes the game fun. You watch guys like Peyton Manning, and they go out there and change plays. They're just having fun out there."
Being the type of leader and quarterback that college coaches want isn't tough if you've have the right attitude and the right people around you, Anderson said.
"It's not tough to be a leader when you have great coaching, great background and great supporting cast," he said.. I try to be to be positive and always work on getting everybody around me better.
"I've been raised well and my parents have done a great job. They always taught me to show what you're about on the field and academically."
There is no question that Anderson's father is an important person in his life, but his mother, too, has been key in his success.
"She's great," he said.
"She's always very supportive. My dad gets on me about the game stuff, and she's there to talk to me about the good things I've done. She's just a great woman. She keeps me grounded. She's great. Really is."
Anderson said he plans on taking the recruiting process as it comes. At this point he's really high on Michigan, especially after an impressive unofficial visit for the Notre Dame game.
"I was up there for the Notre Dame game, and it was unbelievable," he said. "The crowd, the people, everything was great. I was so excited about going up there and seeing that a dream can become a reality if you keep your mind on it and know what you really want to do."
Other Big 10 teams like Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin have already been in early contact with him. He said he's already been asked in the halls at school where he's going to end up. To those questions he doesn't have an answer yet.
But just like he does on the football field, he'll some day soon have the right words for them.
"My dad tells me about how important it is to have confidence," Anderson said. "He says if he can do it, then so can I. He says to always keep positive and that anything is possible. I'm going to play college football, and I won't let anything stand in the way of my dream."