The Ballad of Anthony Fera

A series exploring the commitments (and subsequent decommitments) of Michigan’s lost members of the class of 2009.

The Commitment
2009 Michigan Decommit Anthony FeraWith KC Lopata and Jason Gingell leaving Michigan following the 2008 season, the Wolverines were in search of a placekicker. Already on the roster, Bryan Wright has struggled with health problems, and didn’t seem to be an option for field goals, and the need had to be addressed during recruiting. The Wolverines took a proactive approach, inviting multiple kickers to attend various summer camps in Ann Arbor. Though Anthony Fera was unable to make the kicking camp, he was able to come to the full-week camp, where he worked out privately for the coaching staff. This reportedly didn’t go so well, though Fera was apparently nervous at the time. After evaluating other possibilities, Fera was deemed to be the best option, and he was offered a scholarship. After a couple days’ delay, Fera called the coaching staff and committed to Michigan.

The Decommitment
Though Fera verbally committed to Michigan, it appeared as though his heart was never fully sold on the Wolverines. His father is a Penn State alum, and Anthony grew up rooting for the Nittany Lions. Since Penn State’s Kevin Kelly graduated after 2008, JoePa and co. were in the market for a kicker in the class of 2009, and they brought Fera for an on-campus visit (while he was still committed to the Wolverines (omg snake oil) and without the prior knowledge of Michigan’s coaching staff). Anthony enjoyed the visit enough to switch his commitment from Michigan to Penn State. Shortly thereafter, he began a war of words with Anthony LaLota on Facebook about whether Michigan or Penn State was TEH RULZ, but that’s really neither here nor there.

The Impact
After evaluating all possibilities, Fera was the Michigan coaches’ first option. This is undeniable, so losing him is obviously something of a hit, regardless of replacement (unless, of course, another recruit who was considered unavailable was the replacement). However, the Michigan coaches, after evaluating both Fera and Brendan Gibbons, needed several days to decide which of the two to offer. Eventually, they went with Fera, but he was replaced by Gibbons, which seemed to be a near-equal trade. The way it turned out, they may have been vindicated by each kicker’s performance in All-Star games. In the Army Game, Gibbons nailed several field goals, and the only miss was a block because of a bad hold (by fellow future Wolverine Jeremy Gallon). In the ESPNU game, Fera looked out of sync, missing multiple field goals, and booming a kickoff into the stands… wide of the field. As always, recruiting kickers is still a crapshoot, so it remains to be seen down the road whether they got the right man or not.

Posted under Football, Recruiting
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6 Comments so far

  1. J Torres says...

    This guy is a fag. Commit to your b-friend before you commit to my team.

    I’m guessing you are not on the team, therefore this is not your team. You follow them and root for them, but you don’t have any ownership. As Mike Leach would say, the chicken’s involved, but the pig is committed. He’s a 18 year old kid making one of the most important decisions of his life, so what if he changed his mind? Not all of us can be like you and stick the first commitment we make. By the way, how’s the job at Wal-Mart going?


  2. Devon says...

    J Torres, if DickRod had done the same thing, you’d say what a great move this kid made. Don’t be a hypocrite. Why anyone would want to play for Rodriguez at this point is absolutely beyond me. The guy flat out lies to his players, recruits players at positions they won’t play, and is running a program into the ground, with decommits and transfers and bears oh my.

  3. I wish I had commenting editing powers when people say stupid things like that.

  4. Steve says...

    I think this kid made a good decision for himself. Penn State has put quite a few kickers in the NFL and does a good job developing them for the next level (I know that sounds awful).

    I just hate the commit/decommit game regardless of which schools are involved. If I were king, it be treated just like transferring schools as far as eligibility. More kids would not commit early unless they were sure.

  5. I’ll note my comment originally came after the Torres comment. I would normally ask for Devon’s comment to be censored, but since our own fans were dumb first, I’d allow it.

  6. J Torres says...

    Just wanted to update my stance on this. It was a joke to see if I could get a rise out of someone and I did. I think that people take these things way to serious and I proved my point. I admit the comment was stupid but relax people. Plus I think that UM got a better kicker anyway. Nope not my team just love the team.

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