Darion Anderson stood behind his teammates, hands clutching his helmet, as family, friends and coaches of Houston County gathered around the opposing bleaches at Allatoona High School (Acworth, Ga.).
He stood in silence, noticeably dejected just minutes after Houston County fell to Allatoona, 59-47, this past Friday.
The loss marked the end of Houston County’s season and the end of Anderson’s high school career — one that was met with adversity as he entered his senior year.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound receiver and UGA commit has been facing an uphill climb for the better part of the year. Anderson tore his meniscus back in May, and he was cleared just before the second game of the season.
And even in the third round of the Georgia playoffs, Anderson walked with a noticeable limp.
“It took awhile to return from my knee injury,” Anderson told DawgNation. “I had to get used to running on my knee again. It really wasn’t 100 percent to start off the season. But I fought through the adversity, and I think I had a pretty good year. My expectations weren’t met but I had a good year.”
Even with a knee brace, Anderson hauled in two key touchdown receptions from Alabama quarterback commit Jake Fromm. He flashed on both offense and defense, taking turns lining up at cornerback and receiver.
Now with the season at a close, his focus will shift towards the weight room as he prepares for his career with UGA.
“I just want to get bigger and gain weight so when that time comes I’ll be ready for SEC football,” Anderson said.
Anderson, who was the first receiver to commit to the Bulldogs, has yet to take his official visit to Athens, though he plans to relatively soon. A date has not yet been confirmed. When asked which schools outside of UGA were recruiting him, Anderson was mum.
He told DawgNation he tabled his recruitment during the season, though he remains in constant contact with members of the UGA coaching staff. John Lilly, his primary recruiter, reaches out to him regularly.
“They talk to me every Friday,” Anderson said. “They tell me good luck before the games and stuff.”
However, Anderson said the conversations have not focused on his knee.
The 3-star receiver is rated as the No. 29 player in Georgia.