Hailing from Staten Island, New York, every time redshirt-sophomore receiver Amad Anderson Jr. hits the football field, he wants to represent where he came from, he said.
“I’m just doing it for the city man,” Anderson said. “I love Staten Island and I’m gonna put on for my city as best I could.”
After three seasons with Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, Anderson joined Temple University football, where he plans to take advantage of every opportunity he has on the field, after having minimal playing time in Purdue’s program.
Though living closer to his hometown is a bonus, his relationship with wide receivers coach Thad Ward solidified his decision to move to Temple, he said.
“He was super supportive and that was big with me,” Anderson said. “He didn’t even want to talk about football. He just gave me a rundown, but it was just more so genuine. He actually wanted to be there to support me after football.”
Since his move to Temple, the redshirt-sophomore has connected with his teammates and utilized skills he learned at Purdue to strengthen the Owls’ offense, he said.
“I wasn’t the only new face, so it was kind of easier for us to bond and get to know each other and it’s been great,” Anderson said. “A lot of these guys have very good personalities, are very good football players, they work hard so it’s easy to get along with guys like that.”
The wide receiver joined the team in addition to nine other transfers from Power Five Conferences this past offseason, which included redshirt-freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis who transferred from the University of Georgia.
“I was out here with [Anderson] in early January, we were out there running routes in the freezing cold,” Mathis said. “This isn’t nothing new, we’ve always connected and he’s just been waiting for this opportunity and he’s excelled.”
The skills Anderson developed at Purdue, like getting around defenders and executing routes properly, have become part of his everyday routine as an Owl, he said.
The wide receiver entered the transfer portal in late 2020 after deciding he was ready to have a bigger presence in the depth charts because Purdue receivers David Bell and Milton Wright saw more targets on the field, Anderson said. He also wanted to take on more of a leadership role, he added.
Anderson made his first appearance as an Owl during the matchup against the University of Akron on Sept. 11 where he returned one punt for 35 yards. He saw his second appearance against Boston College on Sept.18 and caught one pass for 18 yards.
Due to the receiver group dealing with injuries, like redshirt-junior wide receiver Jadan Blue and graduate student wide receiver Randle Jones dealing with lower body injuries, Anderson started to see more targets.
He totaled five catches for 47 yards against Wagner College on Sept. 25 and recorded a career-high 108 receiving yards against the University of Memphis for the Owls’ homecoming game on Oct. 2.
His 53-yard touchdown against Memphis late in the fourth quarter solidified a win for the Owls and became a season highlight, earning him Temple offensive player of the week.
“[Anderson] did a great job of staying in bounds and then scoring,” said head coach Rod Carey.
Anderson redshirted his freshman year at Purdue and then saw game action 12 times the following year.
During his time as a Boilermaker, Anderson totaled 36 catches for 362 yards in 17 games.
The redshirt-sophomore credits his development as a player to the support system and mentorship he got from the Purdue coaches, he said.
Anderson worked closely with his former wide receivers coach JaMarcus Shepard, learning how to read defenses, run routes and practice different techniques to help him win on routes.
“Coach knew I was a good athlete but it was the developmental part that I needed to add so once I added it, I was ready to rock and roll,” Anderson said. “The coaches gained their trust in me and it was just football from there.”
Before his collegiate career, Anderson played four years of varsity football at Curtis High School in Staten Island, New York, where they won back-to-back New York City titles in his final two years.
Anderson started playing with his future teammates at Curtis at age five, building chemistry with them that continued into their high school years, he said.
Many of his teammates, like quarterback Quincy Barnes, running back Ty son Lawton and wide receiver Kwannah Kollie, made Anderson better at practice and gave off a positive energy that allowed them to have fun and be competitive with each other, Anderson said.
As the season continues, Anderson’s focus is taking the season one game at a time, working hard every day with his teammates, winning games and having fun, Anderson said.
“You only get this opportunity one time so I’m not really worried about what’s in it for me, I’m worried about how far the team can go,” Anderson added. “We’re just gonna come here and do what we have to do every day, every week and see where it gets us.”