ALDIE, Va. (BVM) — Anthony Donkoh has molded himself into one of the very best players in the state of Virginia at Lightridge High School. 247 Sports ranks him as the No. 18 interior offensive lineman in the country.
But before he grew into his 6-foot-5, 310-pound frame, he was just a kid waiting for his seventh birthday. This was the age he needed to be for his parents to let him try football.
“As soon as I got fitted with all the pads, I was so hype when I got home,” Donkoh said. “I was so excited.”
When he first got out there, Donkoh admitted that it may have been obvious that it was his first year playing. But despite his play, his coach at the time made a point to acknowledge Donkoh’s hard work at the team’s trophy giveaway.
He praised his dedication to the game which ultimately made him better as the season went along. For Donkoh, the moment had a lasting impact.
“That’s what fueled me for the next season,” Donkoh said. “Ever since then, I’ve always strived to be great.”
Year after year of going through seasons with this mindset has turned Donkoh into the player he is today.
In January he committed to Penn State and signed with the school on Dec. 21.
110% COMMITTED pic.twitter.com/NtvvabZ7sG
— Anthony Donkoh (@donkoh_anthony) January 28, 2022
“When I was talking to them, they reached out every week, always asking how I was doing and how my family was doing,” Donkoh said. “It’s not only the athlete they’re trying to be invested in, it’s the whole family.”
— Tyler Donohue (@TDsTake) June 24, 2022
While Donkoh always had the self-belief that he could get to where he wanted to be, it was a wake-up call for him whenever he did not travel with the varsity team as a freshman. Then leading into the back end of his first academic year of high school, the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
But he used that as an opportunity to better himself. And when he got back on the football field, it showed.
“Once the season rolled around, I just felt good,” Donkoh said. “I saw some of my friends were suffering while we were at practice. They didn’t adjust as quickly as I did to game speed.”
Donkoh started gaining traction on the recruiting trail once he got some run and received multiple full-ride scholarships, something he views as his biggest accomplishment to date.
“Not a lot of people who dream or who have dreamt about going DI get the opportunity to play for a Division I school,” Donkoh said.
While Donkoh cannot wait to get on the field for the Nittany Lions and further his aspirations to make it to the NFL, his number one goal comes in the classroom: getting his mechanical engineering degree.