BOCA RATON, Fla. (December 15, 2015) – Glades Central alumnus and former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and University of Florida wide receiver Reidel Anthony will receive this year’s Palm Beach County Football Legends Award for his contributions both on and off the football field.
“We are proud to honor Reidel Anthony with this year’s Palm Beach County Football Legends Award,” said Marmot Boca Raton Bowl Executive Director Doug Mosley. “When you tell the story of football in Palm Beach County, Reidel Anthony certainly stands as one of the legends. It means so much to us to be able to recognize his accomplishments both within sports and within this community.”
The award was begun in conjunction with the inaugural Marmot Boca Raton Bowl and was first awarded to legendary football coach Howard Schnellenberger. Its purpose is to honor those in Palm Beach County who have made notable achievements and contributions to the sport of football. Anthony was selected as the second recipient by a selection committee that is chaired by Palm Beach County Sports Commission Executive Director George Linley.
“It is such an honor to receive the Legends Award from the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl,” said Anthony. “I am especially humbled because I am able to come back home to Palm Beach County and encourage other athletes to pursue their dreams and let them know that it is not where you start from but where you want to go in life.”
Anthony has spent nearly his entire life in the state of Florida. Born in Pahokee and raised in South Bay, Anthony was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball, track & field) at Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Fla.
“Growing up in the western part of Palm Beach County prepared me for the challenges we face on and off the field. The expectations and competition I grew up around taught me that to be great you must out work everyone every day because if you’re not working someone else is,” said Anthony. “I heard about and was able to experience all the history that surrounds Palm Beach County athletics. From all of the great athletes from Glades like John Ford, Jesse Hester, Ricky Jackson, Ray McDonald and the list goes on, there were a lot of role models throughout the county that I could look up to.”
Anthony was able to be a part of and experience one of the area’s most historic and fiercest football rivalries: the Muck Bowl, which is the annual showdown between Glades Central and Pahokee. In the 22 years since he has played in the Muck Bowl, the vivid memories of Central’s three victories over Pahokee have remained with Anthony and were his first steps toward a hall of fame football career.
“I started in the Glades and was able to achieve my dream of becoming a professional football player,” continued Anthony. “It can be done but it takes hard work and commitment”
Anthony took his talents to the next level in 1994 with Steve Spurrier’s Florida Gators. He was named an All-American in his freshman and junior seasons and helped lead the team to a 1996 National Championship title. That year he set the Southeastern Conference (SEC) single-season record for touchdown catches with 18, which remains the SEC and Gators’ team record.
Anthony entered the 1997 NFL Draft and was chosen sixteenth overall in the first round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He spent his entire professional career, from 1997-2001, with Tampa. In his first game, Anthony became, and still remains, the youngest NFL player ever to record a touchdown reception. He was named to the NFL All-Rookie First Team.
After retiring in 2001, Anthony continued to work with the game he loved through coaching in high school football. He currently lives in Tampa, Fla. and is the Director of Player Development at Performance Compound, which provides holistic programming dedicated to improving performance and has serviced MLB All-Star’s, Gold Glove Winner’s, NFL Pro-Bowlers and more.
Anthony was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. He was also a member of the 2014 Palm Beach County Sports Hall of Fame class. He will receive the Legends Award and be recognized on Dec. 21 at the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl Kickoff Luncheon beginning at 12 p.m. at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
The 2015 Marmot Boca Raton Bowl will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 7 p.m. ET, at FAU Stadium. The game will air nationally on ESPN. For additional information about the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl, please visit www.MarmotBocaRatonBowl.com or e-mail email@example.com.
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