Anthony Khalife made it official Wednesday. He is going to follow in his father’s footsteps.
The standout Coughlin lineman signed his letter-of-intent to continue his football and academic careers at Colgate University. His father, Tony, starred for Colgate in the 1980s.
“It didn’t influence my decision whether to go there,” said Khalife, who verbally committed to the Division I program a few months back. “The only type of influence it would have had was because he went there I knew more about the place and I was up there a few more times.”
Khalife’s dad made his mark at Colgate as a four-year letterwinner and three-year starter at defensive tackle from 1984-1988. He earned All-Patriot League honors as a junior and senior and was All-ECAC as a senior.
“I don’t know if it influenced him,” Tony Khalife said. “But being there so many times for games and camps, he got a good feel for the place. He got to meet the coaches a lot and many of the same coaches are still there. It was sort of like home.”
Khalife carved out an impressive career at Coughlin over the past four season. He played varsity as a freshman and started at guard as a sophomore before moving to tight end as a junior. He returned to guard as a senior and recorded 25 pancake blocks to lead the team in that category a second consecutive season.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder was also an impact player as a defensive end, leading the Crusaders in tackles two consecutive years. He finished this season with 112 tackles while being second in sacks with six and tackles for loss with seven. He was named the Defensive MVP on the Wyoming Valley Conference Coaches Big School All-Stars and was a Times Leader All-WVC selection.
“Right now they have me slated for offensive line,” Khalife said. “Exactly which position — guard or tackle — they don’t know yet. It depends how I grow and fill out over the next year, year and a half. That could change. I could go there and they could change me to defense because that happens quite often.”
The son of Deborah and Tony Khalife of Plains Township also had offers from Army and Bucknell. He said schools such as Buffalo, Maryland, Pittsburgh and UConn expressed interest, but wanted to see how things played out with other recruiting prospects first.
Through it all, Khalife’s father was able to provide experience in the process as the former head coach at GAR and a current assistant at Coughlin. College programs began expressing interest in Khalife in his sophomore year.
“It was a great help because not only did he go through it when he was in high school, through coaching he helped other kids with it,” Khalife said. “So he knows almost everything you need to know about it. We didn’t miss a beat when it came to emailing or sending out video or contacting coaches, things like that.”
Colgate finished 3-2 in the Patriot League and 4-8 overall this past season. The program also added Old Forge lineman Ryan Paulish on Wednesday.