WESTVIEW, Fla. — Football players typically watch game film with coaches or teammates.
But when four-star cornerback and Pitt signee Khalil Anderson does, he has a different perspective than most.
Anderson’s father, Barry, a 14-year NFL official, remains one of his son’s most important teachers as he prepares to take the next step in his career.
“We watch a lot of college and NFL film together and he still helps me improve my game,” Anderson said. “He’s taught me things like how important it is to make the right moves before receivers break on their routes, stuff like that.”
Barry Anderson, a standout defensive back at N.C. State, never played a down in the NFL.
Instead, he’s been calling the shots on Sundays in over 200 games including umpiring 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 officiate an NFL game in the 100-year history of the league.
“Football has been my dad’s whole life,” Anderson said. “It’s been great watching him take that passion he had for the game as a player and take it to officiating.”
Barry Anderson has seen Khalil, his youngest of three sons, begin to forge his own potential path to football stardom. Anderson, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior at Riverwood High in Atlanta, is ranked No. 25 nationally among cornerbacks according to 247Sports.com.
He showed a glimpse of his talents this past Sunday while playing for Team Georgia in the Georgia-Florida All-Star Game in Miami.
Anderson dropped back in one-on-one coverage and picked off a deep throw down the sideline. The play was nullified by a roughing the passer penalty, but showed his playmaking skills and instincts.
— Andrew Ivins (@Andrew_Ivins) January 17, 2021
Anderson played in four defensive series and also handled punt returns for Team Georgia, another aspect of his game which drew the attention of Pitt during the recruiting process.
Anderson, a big fan of Rams’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey, grew in a football family. His older brother played football at Georgia State. His second cousin, Steve Wallace, and his father’s brother-in-law, Bobby Hamilton, each played in the NFL.
After a breakout junior season in which he had seven interceptions, Anderson earned the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s All-Region team and Defensive Player of the Year honors.
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 their coaching staff,” Anderson told Pittsburgh Sports Now this past weekend. “They showed me a lot of love as a person. Every discussion was very straight forward and open. A big part of the recruitment for me was the school that took 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 No. 22 in the nation and fourth in the ACC by 247Sports.com.
Pitt, which finished tied for ninth among FBS schools last season with 14 interceptions, signed Tamarion Crumpley (Cincinnati, OH) and Noah Biglow (Seffner, Fla.) in December. Pitt added another pledge when Phillip O’Brien Jr. (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) flipped his commitment recently from Auburn to Pitt.
Anderson will compete for playing time with 2020 commits and fellow Georgians Rashad Battle and Hunter Sellers along with Floridian Jahvante Royal.
“There’s going to be some great competition and I feel like we can change the whole culture,” Anderson said. “We can come in there and make an immediate impact and help shake up the ACC. Once we get the offense to come together, it’s going to be something to watch.”