From childhood to college: Homestead DL duo stay together at FSU
The Florida State football team signed a quartet of defensive linemen in its 2022 recruiting class, including two players who actually grew up together and starred for the same high school program.
While Anderson's announcement on the first day of the early signing period caught many by surprise, Lyons explained that he was in on the secret.
“See, I knew before everyone else. When he told me, I was happy,” Lyons said. “But when I didn’t know where he was going, I kept asking and asking, but he wouldn’t tell anyone. But once he told me, it was like, ‘Yes!'”
Both players spoke with the local media this week for the first time since enrolling at FSU in January.
When it came to Anderson's decision, the former Homestead High star said he was swayed by his relationship with the FSU coaching staff and the opportunity to play in college with his “brother Daniel.”
“I mean, we have been together since elementary, and we have always wanted to play together,” Anderson said. “And that’s my brother. Me and him together, we are going to make stuff happen.”
Before they get on the field for spring practice next month, the freshmen are focused right now on getting acclimated to strength coach Josh Storms' workout and conditioning program.
Lyons, who will wear No. 95, arrived at FSU measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds.
“Coach Storms, he’s a great coach," Lyons said. "I feel like I have been getting bigger, faster and stronger. ... Right now, I am just trying to stay in the weight room, get bigger. So when that time comes, I am trying to be able to get on the field. I am working as hard as I can.”
Nor surprisingly, both players believe the other has a great chance to have success in college.
“He can do everything,” Anderson said of Lyons. “He's a 'dog.'"
While Lyons has been a lineman since he first started playing football, he said Anderson actually played some wide receiver, defensive back and even punt returner while growing up.
“He’s fast, he’s fast off the edge,” Lyons said of Anderson, who will be No. 96 in the garnet and gold. “He has speed that a lot of people don’t have.”
Anderson and Lyons each said veteran FSU defensive tackles coach Odell Haggins played a major role in their recruitment, while Anderson also spent a lot of time with defensive ends coach John Papuchis and co-defensive coordinator Adam Fuller.
“He was one of my first big offers," Lyons said of Haggins. "I think it was like my 10th-grade year, or after my ninth-grade year he offered me. He always called every day, showed that he wanted me.”
The Homestead products don't know how quickly they'll be able to contribute to Florida State's defensive line on game days, but they are excited about continuing this journey side by side.
“Since like fourth grade, we have always been together," Anderson said. "Always did everything together. Visits, everything. So that’s like a brother. Someone I am always there with.”