Anthony wants to be first to win Olympic gold, Super Bowl

Published 1:11 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

By LARRY VAUGHT

Contributing columnist

He’s training on a consistent, daily basis for track where he’ll compete in the 100- and 200-meter dashes during outdoor season along with the 4×100 relay after making his debut last weekend in the Texas Relays.

However, don’t doubt that freshman Jordan Anthony also considers himself a football player who plans to be catching passes for the Wildcats

“I am just concentrating on track now. Each sport has its own season. Right now it is track,” said Anthony.  “Coach (Mark) Stoops knows I am still in the playbook. Me and (North Carolina State transfer quarterback) Devin Leary have a good connection. He’s a cool guy. In my opinion, he will be even better than Will Levis.”

Anthony was one of the nation’s elite high school sprinters who had an exceptional indoor season for Kentucky. He went under 6.60 seconds five times in the 60-meter dash, including a 6.55 in the NCAA Indoor Championships where he finished second. He had a personal best of 6.54 in the preliminary round to tie the UK record set by Olympian Tim Harden in 1995.

Even though he’s now racing against “grown men,” Anthony was not surprised by his success. He won the under-20 200-meter dash in 20.34 seconds last summer at the USA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. That qualified him for the U20 World Championships in Colombia before he turned down the opportunity to compete in preseason football practice.

“I chose football then because I wanted to learn the offense and work with Will Levis,” Anthony said.

Now track coach Lonnie Green and sprint coach Tim Hall are “fine tuning what is already in my bag and adding more to it” to make him even faster.

“I expected coach Hall to be great just like my high school coach (Myron Martin). Coach Hall pushes me and if you are not being pushed, something is wrong,” Anthony said. “(Former world champion) Christian Coleman trains with him. He’s working on little technique things. I have good form. He’s working on getting some small things corrected and pushing me to the max.”

Anthony is not worried about falling behind in football.

Some of his teammates and coaches came to his first indoor meet and he expects them at more outdoor meets.

“They know I am fast. It was exciting to be able to show them I am who I say I am,” Anthony said.

He called his freshman football season a “decent learning year” that enabled him to get a feel of college football.

“I still feel like I am just as good as anybody. But I was trying to do everything and almost felt like a robot. I was nervous. I was under pressure,” he said. “This year I should be freer and looser.”

Anthony has raised his weight to about 170 pounds and doesn’t want to add many more pounds.

“So far it has just been God-given ability and the strength of my body along with the training the track coaches have me doing (that has driven his success),” Anthony said. “I still feel I can do better (time-wise).”

What about football?

“In my opinion I should be able to play this season,” Anthony said. “We’ll see how that goes. If not, I don’t know what will be holding me back.”

That’s the confidence star athletes possess that allows them to  chase big dreams like Anthony is.

“I still want to be the first person to win an Olympic gold medal and the Super Bowl,” the UK freshman said. “I don’t dream. I make things happen. Everybody at home is excited and can’t wait to see that the future holds as I keep working and improving with my eye on the 2024 Olympics.”