Arizona Football

Chandler High standouts, Northwestern players Drake Anderson, Gunner Maldonado transfer to Arizona

Just a few hours today after Chuck Cecil’s first recruiting acquisition, safety Gunner Maldonado, announced his transfer from Northwestern to Arizona, Maldonado’s former Chandler High School and Northwestern teammate Drake Anderson, a running back, let it be known he is bound for Jedd Fisch’s program.

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Anderson, 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, ran for 256 yards and two touchdowns in seven games as a redshirt sophomore this season. He rushed for 926 yards and five touchdowns in 21 games in his Northwestern career.

As a senior at Chandler in 2017, Anderson rushed for 2,009 yards and caught 23 passes for 310 yards while scoring 37 touchdowns to lead Wolves to a 12-2 record and 6A Arizona state championship.

He was a 3-star recruit in the 2018 class. He chose Northwestern over Illinois, Nevada and New Mexico State.

MaxPreps labeled him “the most underrated running back in high school” in 2017:

Although former Arizona running back Gary Brightwell announced his decision to enter the NFL draft on Sunday, the Wildcats are deep at running back.

Anderson will join Michael Wiley, Nathan Tilford, Bam Smith, Frank Brown Jr., Jalen John and incoming recruits James Bohls and former CDO standout Stevie Rocker Jr.

Cecil, hired by Fisch to be the defensive backs coach, landed Maldonado, who was a  three-star prospect coming out of high school. Maldonado finished his senior season in 2019 with 43 tackles and seven interceptions while helping his team win four straight state titles.

In the Wolves’ win over Salpointe in a Open Division semifinal game last year, Maldonado had two interceptions.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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