Eyabi Anoma came to Alabama with an incredible amount of hype from the recruiting services, Scout.com chief among them.
At 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, Anoma was expected to become one of the best edge rushers of his generation, ranking number one at the weakside defensive end position in the nation, number one in his home state of Maryland, and number four nationally among all prospects in the country as part of the 2018 class.
His high school highlights showed a player that many predicted would become the next great Alabama linebacker, and a future first round pick.
Anoma tallied nine tackles for the Crimson Tide in 2018 as a freshman, including six solo and three assisted, flashing the talent that made him one of the most promising young players in the country.
It wasn’t the most statistically productive season, but Anoma still managed to become an All-SEC Freshman Team selection in 2018, heading into his 2019 season with the Crimson Tide.
That was the year everything changed, however.
Word got out that Anoma was no longer enrolled in classes, and information later came out that the young linebacker/defensive end hybrid had flown back to the Washington, D.C. area and would likely transfer to his hometown Maryland Terrapins.
When Nick Saban and the Tide unveiled their 2019 roster, Anoma’s name was not included.
Saban had the following to say about the situation, and Anoma’s time Alabama would soon expire afterward.
“He was dismissed by the university,” Saban said. “That’s really all I can say about it.”
Former Crimson Tide Recruit Turns In Highlight Reel Day with Sack vs. Colorado State
Anoma later found his way to Houston, before he was dismissed from the team for undisclosed rules violations, and Tennessee-Martin.
With less than a week to go until his graduation from Tennessee-Martin, Anoma sent a text message to Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and the interest was mutual.
Anoma soon found his way to the Ann Arbor campus before suiting up on Saturday, September 3 in the Wolverines’ home opener against the Colorado State Rams.
What happened next has drawn the attention of everyone from Wolverines fans to Big Ten rivals to a former NFL scout with nearly 20 years of experience, who had a mouthful to say about the former five-star prospect.
Anoma showed incredible speed off the edge rushing Rams quarterback Clay Millen, notching the sack and celebrating with his teammates.
Anoma looks like he is capable of providing a ton of speed and physicality off of the edge.
If it all works out, he could become the next David Ojabo for the Wolverines.
Ojabo of course is Aidan Hutchinson’s former defensive mate for Michigan, who was drafted in the second round by the Baltimore Ravens.
Former NFL scout of nearly 20 years Jim Nagy had the following to say about Anoma’s talent after watching him against the Rams.
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) September 3, 2022
The Wolverines won by a final score of 51-7, with Blake Corum, Donovan Edwards, freshman running back C.J. Stokes, and backup quarterback J.J. McCarthy rushing for a combined 225 yards and three touchdowns.
While Anoma might never live up to the hype he garnered as a superstar recruit for the Crimson Tide, he does have the support of a team that’s hungry after making it to the college football playoff last year, and losing 34-11 in a game that wasn’t even as close as the score might suggest.
It all started in Tuscaloosa, and now, Anoma has his chance to make amends — perhaps he and his Crimson Tide teammates will cross paths again in this year’s playoff, based on the trajectory of his two most well known current and former programs.