Site icon Bluff City Media

Cut from the Same Cloth – The Anthony Landphere Story

When you think of Memphis Tigers Football, what’s the first position group that comes to mind? Ask any casual college football fan this question and they’d rightly point out that the Tigers have produced the likes of DeAngelo Williams, Tony Pollard, Antonio Gibson, Kenneth Gainwell, Darrell Henderson, and Patrick Taylor Jr. at the running back position. Devoted college football enthusiasts may even go on to tell you that the Tigers have a history of producing stellar college quarterbacks like Danny Wimprine, Paxton Lynch, Riley Ferguson, and Brady White.

There’s another position group for the Tigers, though, that has remained quietly consistent for over a decade. In 2012, a walk-on tight end hailing from Millington, Tennessee recorded 23 receptions for 301 yards and five touchdowns as a redshirt freshman at Memphis. The two tight ends the year prior only combined for 13 total receptions the entire year. Proving that the tight end position can be a legitimate offensive weapon at Memphis, it was just the beginning of a spectacular career for Alan Cross, who ultimately played three seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

His ultimate departure didn’t equal a drop-off in production, though. He was replaced by Daniel Montiel, who was replaced by Joey Magnifico, who was replaced by Sean Dykes, who was replaced by Caden Preiskorn; and every season since 2014, the guy who was “next-in-line” went on to record at least 20 receptions by season’s end. Before the start of the 2023 season, Ryan Silverfield tabbed Anthony Landphere as the next man to carry the torch at tight end. Six years ago, Landphere, nor anyone in his circle, would’ve ever imagined he’d be playing high-level college football, much less in Memphis, Tennessee, over 2,000 miles from his home in San Mateo, California.

Basketball was Anthony Landphere’s first love. An alumnus of the West Catholic Athletic League, Landphere’s high school competition was far above the status quo. Playing in a conference that has produced athletes like Tom Brady, Barry Bonds, and Aaron Gordon, Landphere made the difficult decision to forego his junior season of high school football in favor of starring on the basketball court. Helping his team to a state playoff appearance as Saint Francis High School’s starting small forward, most would agree that opting to focus on a single sport worked in his favor.

Once the basketball season concluded, Landphere started missing football. So much so, he elected to return to his high school’s team with the hope of earning a Division One scholarship in his senior season of play. Starting at tight end, Landphere helped the Lancers go undefeated in the ultra-competitive West Catholic Athletic League and ultimately finished the season with an 11-4 record. In one season, Landphere’s bet paid off and the scholarship offers started to roll in. Landphere ultimately chose to stay in the Golden State and committed to play football at San Diego State University. After redshirting his first season on campus, he decided he needed a fresh start and decided to transfer to his hometown’s junior college. Then the world changed forever.

Landphere’s first season at the College of San Mateo was canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing him to wait an additional year before showcasing his talent. In 2021, Landphere received the opportunity to play for the first time in two years and top-level schools quickly noticed his potential. Florida State, Indiana, UCLA, and Memphis each called, and Mike Norvell even got the 6-foot-5 former hoop star to take an official visit to Tallahassee. Luckily for Memphis fans, Brad Salem and Ryan Silverfield convinced Landphere that Memphis was the best fit in the end.

Appearing in all 13 games in his first year with the Tigers, Landphere had the opportunity to learn the offensive system at Memphis while Caden Prieskorn starred for the Tigers. After Prieskorn announced he would be transferring to Oxford, Landphere knew that year two in Memphis was his opportunity to shine. “There’s definitely some pressure, but I feel honored to be the starting tight end at a school that has such a long history at this position,” Landphere told Bluff City Media, “I’m grateful to be in this position.” To this day, Landphere still draws upon his time on the hardwood at Saint Francis. “Coming from that basketball background, I naturally gravitate more toward that receiving side of the things, but over the years, I’ve worked my butt off to become a good blocker; I take pride in being a dynamic tight end.”

Making his first start against Bethune-Cookman in week one, Landphere caught a two-point conversion pass from Seth Henigan in the second quarter. He built upon that production by catching all four of his targets against Arkansas State last week. And while the tight end position at Memphis is well-known to produce potent offensive weapons, there’s another quality that Landphere strives to emulate as the next man up at Memphis. When reflecting on who the Tigers have fielded at tight end over the previous decade, Landphere told Bluff City Media, “all those guys had really good success because they were also really good teammates; they did everything that they could to win and contribute to the team, and I want to carry that torch where I’m giving the team my everything.” “Obviously I want to have the same production as them,” he continued, “but my main goal is to be the best teammate I can be.”

Landphere said having Joey Magnifico as a graduate assistant is an invaluable asset to the tight end room at Memphis. “(Joey) understands what a winning culture at Memphis means. It’s been really nice having him in the room with us to guide us and be like that big brother for us.” Under Landphere and Magnifico’s leadership, having five new faces within the position group has gone tremendously smooth. “We’re all really close. We’re all good friends outside of football”, Landphere said, “they’re all really hard workers and don’t complain about anything; we just really go to work.”

While he’s over 2,000 miles away from home, Anthony Landphere embodies what it means to be a tight end at the University of Memphis. Whether it be a walk-on from Millington, the undersized scrapper from Memphis, or the basketball player from California, all share the same grind-in-silence mentality that has invigorated the Memphis offense throughout its rise to national relevancy. In the most important season in the Ryan Silverfield era, Landphere can’t wait to show Tiger fans what he brings to the table. “I love the quick turnaround for us (playing on Thursday) because that means it’s less waiting until the next game”.

Exit mobile version
Skip to toolbar