TAMPA – When you watch Robinson Knights football you can’t miss No. 47. Anthony Krouse Jr. contributes in all three phases serving as a defensive lineman, fullback and core special teamer. He’s in for a big role as a rising senior.

After spending his first two seasons at Robinson at defensive line (10 varsity games), Krouse Jr. made the switch to linebacker in 2015. However, the Knights’ coaching staff felt he could excel the most playing defensive end so he moved back there this off-season.

At 6’0 1/2″, 235 lbs., Krouse Jr. has put on 20 lbs. since the end of last season. He wants to get in tip-top shape so he can go full blast well into the fourth quarter.

The move to defensive line will help him focus on getting after the quarterback, but Krouse Jr. said he felt very comfortable playing linebacker. He knows he can perform at a high level at defensive end now that his upper body is thicker.

Against certain teams, Krouse Jr. said he could make the move to linebacker, but for the most part he’ll be starting at defensive end and as an H-back on offense.

Last season, he had 71 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery at linebacker. He also totaled 51 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. As a sophomore, Krouse Jr. had 26 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a fumble recovery in a rotational role at defensive end.

Moving back to defensive end, he says he feels like he has to prove himself a whole lot more as an edge rusher.

“I feel like I need to get into more shape,” Krouse Jr. said. “Playing both ways is no joke. I need to get my motor better than that and overall improve my technique.”

He says he’s trying to run for days and wants to be on the field as much as possible just like last season, his first as a full-time starter. Krouse Jr. thrives on being physical and delivering big hits.

“Going into my freshman year is when I gained my confidence. People didn’t believe in me a lot, they thought I wasn’t that good…

“I always told myself that I’m better than what I am and try to be more physical than everybody else. I just believed in my talents and everything fell into place.”

In terms of his biggest strengths, Krouse Jr. said that is his power, abilities as a pass and run defender and his get off. He wants to improve his hand movements, speed and overall game as a pass rusher.

Although he hasn’t earned his first offer yet, Krouse Jr. has interest from over nine schools including Georgia Southern, Southeast Missouri State, West Florida, Carson-Newman, Mercer, Massachusetts, Colorado Mesa, Western Illinois and Central Michigan. All of those programs are looking at him to play the H-back position.

Speaking of the fullback spot, Krouse Jr. was supposed to be out on the field for perhaps the most famous play in Robinson football history. In a 44-27 win at Spoto on Oct. 23, quarterback Najee Fitzgerald threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Tomlin. On the play, Fitzgerald faked a handoff and without turning lobbed the ball over the Spartans defense (video here).

“I was supposed to be, but I didn’t go out there. That’s the sad part, I didn’t get to be on TV. I was supposed to be the fullback on that play…

“It was crazy. Coach didn’t even know we were calling that play and we just did it. It worked surprisingly. In practice it didn’t work out. It’s pretty amazing.”

Krouse Jr. started his football life at age 5 playing linebacker. He was on defense until age 11 when he played offensive line and defensive line. When he arrived at Robinson he wanted to play quarterback because he thought he could play as a big kid. However, defense is where he’s settled in.

This season

Playing under fourth-year head coach Shawn Taylor is something Krouse Jr. calls great. The Knights have gone 13-17 under his command the last three seasons, but seem destined to turn things around with a strong defensive unit.

“He’s [Taylor] a good head coach. I really admire him. He wants the best for us. He works us really hard and I love him. He tells us it’s not all about football. He trains us for life after football and to be a man.”

Krouse Jr. believes his team will be the real this season.

“We are young, confident and strong. This year the whole team has a stronger bond. In the spring we’ve been through so much together and we all have each other’s backs. Everybody is doubting us, but they haven’t seen us play. So we are going to show them how it is.”

His biggest role model is JV coach Kelvin Preston. He says the two share a close bond.

“He taught me a lot since I was younger. He’s been there for me. He taught me to do right and basically anything I know about defensive line. He’s taught me since I was 11.”

As for his ultimate goal, Krouse Jr. wants to go to a Division-I school, get my degree and hopefully make it to the NFL. As for his major, he plans to study either Physical Therapy or Sport Management.

Krouse Jr. is a special player who stands out for Robinson. He will make plays this season for the Knights and impress college coaches.

Anthony Krouse Jr. is a fun player to watch. Make sure you pay attention to him this year and beyond.


Quick hitters

Favorite players to watch – Florida Gators LB Jarrad Davis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Lavonte David
Playlist before games – YFN Lucci “Unstoppable”, Mankey “Put Me In Coach”
Favorite movies – Insidious, The Conjuring, Bad Boys II
Favorite TV shows – Avatar: The Last Airbender, Teen Wolf, Catfish
Fun fact about you that nobody knows – “I’m a really chill person. People think I’m goofy and weird. I say random things all the time.”
Nickname from teammates or friends – “Baby Tony”

Game film: Krouse’s Hudl tape

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