Nov. 28, 2012
By Tim Miguel
Campbell and Conte are recent Golden Bears who are now playing in the NFL. In addition, Anthony's cousin, Cameron Jordan, who inspired him to want to be a Bear, is currently starting on the defensive line for the New Orleans Saints. Combine recent history with Cal's second-year assistant coach Ashley Ambrose, a 13-year standout NFL defensive back, and all the pieces are set for Anthony to follow in his former teammates' footsteps and join them in the NFL next year.
In order for Anthony to accomplish this tremendous goal, he knew that he would have to make a big splash at the start of the year to get the 2012 season off on the right foot. In the second game of the season against Southern Utah, he did just when he all but sealed the win for Cal with his 61-yard interception return for his first career touchdown.
"That was an experience that I'll never forget," Anthony said. "I've always wanted to score in college. It's exciting to score a touchdown. They were just dumping short quick passes the whole series that was all they could do. I got a play where I didn't have to worry about too much with man-to-man. I got to roam free a little bit in the flat. I noticed a play they did before, and it looked similar to the one they were about to do, so I kind of guessed and guessed right. I was able to take it to the house. It kind of set the tone for the secondary for the rest of the year."
According to Ambrose, the best thing Anthony has going for him is his size and speed that NFL scouts are consistently searching for.
"It's rare to find a kid of his height and weight who can run like Marc," Ambrose said. "He can be physical at times. That's hard to find. The pros look for that. It's funny how many times the pros say it's hard to find guys of that size who are fast, can flip their hips and do a lot of things. He has the physical tools, he just has to be consistent and keep working to get better. I'm shooting for him to be one of the top guys in the country."
Anthony considers Ambrose to be his crutch because of the wealth of knowledge he has brought to the Cal secondary. Anthony said he's had plenty of good defensive back coaches who could teach him all about the playbook and what needs to be done on the gridiron, but Ambrose takes it to a different level. He knows exactly what it takes to make it to the NFL since it wasn't that long ago he was there himself. That knowledge is what Anthony tries to soak up like a sponge every day at practice.
Practicing is something Anthony has been doing since a young age. Making it to the pros has been a goal of his since he was five years old. When asked what his best experience while at Cal has been, Anthony was quick to say his first season in Berkeley when he redshirted. He said having basically a free year to learn, grow, gain knowledge and experience was pivotal in the success that he enjoys today.
The road to Berkeley came via the state of Arizona for Anthony, who says he misses his family, but not Arizona itself.
"I get homesick, but not to the point where I want to go home," Anthony said. "I came to Cal because I already had family up here, so I had a chance to check it out. My cousin [Cameron Jordan] had committed here the year before. I could really look at what Cal had to offer football-wise. It made it easy to choose. The school and the football combined was unbeatable.
"It was crazy; people from Berkeley are totally different from Arizona. People fight for what they stand for here, and I thought that was pretty cool."
Cal fans would agree that it would be pretty cool to see another Cal defensive back in the NFL next year.