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2024 University HS OL/DL Anthony Rivera Hopes Aggressiveness Will Land Him Opportunity



Believing in yourself and taking advantage of every opportunity is the most important thing to Anthony “Cookie”  Rivera as he continues his recruiting journey.

Rivera, a local class of 2024 prospect who currently attends University High School in Morgantown, West Virginia, recently received an invite to visit WVU during spring practice, something the program often provides to in-state high school players. WV Sports Now talked with Rivera, a lineman with experience on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, to learn about his mindset, his plans during recruitment and what being a Mountaineer would mean to him.

Since most of the recruits people hear about are often receiving an abundance of offers from all over the country, it’s players like Rivers that can be overlooked. Rivera admitted he’s not received an offer yet, but staying confident and taking this journey one day at a time. He’s hoping to use invites to attend practices and camps as a chance to impress coaches and eventually find a path to play football at the college level. To this point, Rivera has been able to experience a Junior Day visit at Marshall in Huntington, West Virginia and also an Ivy League institution in Yale.

“I have also been contacting by Harvard, Mercyhurst, Limestone, Harvard, Wesleyan and other D-2 and D-3 colleges. I am excited to definitely be on my recruiting journey!,” explained Rivera about other schools he’s had conversations with and his thought process while still waiting for his first offer to come in.

When asked what type of player a school would be getting if they grant Rivera that opportunity he’s waiting for, Rivera had a strong sales pitch ready. “I would describe myself as a level and consistent player. Paying attention to detail and using strength to do my job for the team,” said the University High School junior.

He then used a question about which side of the ball he prefers or feels he’s best suited to play in college by bringing up his versatility and ability to be flexible to what the team may need. “I feel I am coachable and open to learn and will fill the need on either side of the ball for what college or university gives me that opportunity to play at the next level. I welcome any of those opportunities,” he said.

To get an even better idea of the attitude Rivera brings to the field and the type of player Rivers wants to be, the conversation moved to which players he’s looked up to over the years. And it’s clear he believes being aggressive can be what helps bring him success.

“I’ve looked up to Ndamukong Suh because of how aggressive and dominant he is and also Larry Allen because of how strong and powerful he is, as well as, being mobile, and Aaron Donald because he throws linemen around like nothing,” Rivera responded.

And while Rivera is hungry for an opportunity anywhere and seeks a place that truly wants him, becoming a Mountaineer would be the most special option of all. “I’ve been a fan ever since I was a kid me and my mom used to go to the games when I was younger and met some of the players,” Rivera said about being a lifelong fan of West Virginia football, something most local players have in common and their desire to wear the Old Gold and Blue colors of the Mountaineers can’t be taken for granted.

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