Junior defensive end Eyabi Anoma played his first full season of football at St. Frances last year. His second will draw a little more attention.
After a 24-sack, 60-plus-tackle junior campaign that earned All-Metro second-team honors, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Anoma was rated the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2018 by ESPN. As in, there's one recruit in the nation considered better.
Anoma could end his high school career as the highest-ranked Baltimore recruit in modern history. Coincidentally, his historical peers are also defensive ends: Randallstown's Melvin Alaeze, who signed with Maryland in 2005 but never played a down of college football, was rated No. 4 nationally by Rivals.com. Baltimore native Joshua Kaindoh, an IMG Academy (Fla.) graduate who decommitted from Maryland to sign with Florida State, finished No. 9 in the 247Sports.com Composite rankings.
Anoma already has scholarship offers from Maryland, Alabama, Georgia, Penn State, Michigan, Wisconsin, South Carolina and others. With the summer circuit beckoning, national opinion on Anoma is split, at least for now. He's ranked No. 125 overall by Scout.com, No. 88 by Rivals.com and No. 55 by 247Sports.com, an unusual variance for what one of the other major recruiting services deems a blue-chip recruit.
"I called St. Frances early last season in their second game and the coaches talked about his upside; he was kind of quiet," ESPN national recruiting analyst Craig Haubert told USA Today recently. "Toward the end of the season in early December, I got his film and watched him and I thought I was watching a completely different player. He had the time to find his footing and get comfortable. Once he did, he just exploded."
Watch junior-year highlights of Anoma here.