St. Joe's Cody Sampson looks for running room as Absegami's Abdullah Anderson head in for the tackle during their opening game of the season against Absegami held at Absegami High School in Galloway. Photo/Dave Griffin

It didn't take long for Bucknell University to decide that they wanted Absegami High School senior defensive end Abdullah Anderson.

Absegami football coach Dennis Scuderi Jr. said that just two days after sending Anderson's game tapes to the Division I Football Championship Subdivision school, the Galloway Township resident had an offer for a full athletic scholarship.

The 17-year-old verbally committed Saturday to attend the Patriot League school next year.

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Bucknell coaches can't comment on Anderson until he signs a national letter of intent on the first Wednesday in February, under NCAA regulations.

"They called me, and everyone told me that the football and the education program there was great." Anderson said about choosing Bucknell. "The school looks beautiful, and it was just mind-blowing. That's why I chose this school."

This season was the first time Anderson has played football at the high school level, but at 6-feet, 4-inches tall and 230 pounds, Absegami coaches have been begging him to come out every year.

"We have consistently nagged him to come out." Scuderi said. "He was really raw. He hadn't played until this year. He was a high motor kid and super athletic."

Anderson said he didn't come out for football before because the summer before his junior year he tore the ACL in his knee, plus he said he "didn't think I was good enough to succeed" in football.

He also is a three-year varsity basketball player for the Braves.

"I was kind of weary about the outcome at first." Anderson said about playing football for the first time. "But as I started, I got better and better and just began to have fun. More fun then I expected."

Scuderi made sure Anderson got noticed by Bucknell since Scuderi is a former colleague of Bison coach Joe Susan.

Both had worked on Rutgers' coaching staff - Susan was the recruiting coordinator and Scuderi the director of recruitment operations.

"I know Joe will take care of him, not just as an athlete but make sure he gets a meaningful degree so that he can get a good job when he's finished," Scuderi said.

The Bisons will look to improve on a 6-5 record in 2013, and a 3-2 record in the Patriot League.

Anderson showed a lot of appreciation for his high school coach of just one year.

"From day one (Scuderi) was on (me) about learning the stuff that I missed from high school football," Anderson said. "I was a blank slate. (Scuderi) was a big reason for my success this year. He kept pushing me to be a better player."

Anderson said he has no plans to play basketball at Bucknell. There is one other local player on the Bucknell roster - junior tight end Jake Hartman of Pinelands Regional.

Contact R.J. Kern:



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