Andrel Anthony was all the rage back in the spring, emerging as a top freshman and earning high praise from teammates and coaches.

He was making at least one eye-catching play during each practice, per his head coach.

This past Saturday, Anthony showed what he was all about by taking a short pass for a 93-yard ride down Michigan’s sideline and into the south end zone at Spartan Stadium.

Honestly, that play wasn’t really a surprise. The hometown East Lansing kid was bound to turn heads at Mel Tucker’s Woodshed, and many thought that he’d end up doing so for Michigan State, not against Michigan State.

What a homecoming for the Wolverines’ frosh, huh?

Hello, Andrel Anthony.

The 6-2, 185-pound wide receiver’s 93-yard TD reception is among the 4 longest in UM history, per a team release.

Oh, and it was his first catch in college, too — if that’s not saying something, nothing will. He’s barely played this season and he’s already in the record books. It was easily one of the longest passing TDs vs. Michigan State by anyone, at any time — let alone during the rivalry series.

His stat line from Saturday earned him Big Ten weekly honors. His 6 catches for 153 yards were likely the most by any true freshman UM WR vs. Michigan State. His pair of TDs are probably in that category as well.

He couldn’t have had a better game, and especially in East Lansing, where he was raised and starred for the ELHS Trojans. With 1,971 yards, he holds his hometown high school’s career record for receiving production.

If the Wolverines would have won Saturday, instead of losing 37-33, Anthony’s performance would be plastered across every media platform known to cyberspace. Rivalry, homecoming, and against the hometown team that thought he’d attend their school … nobody could have written that any better.

A Michigan win would have pushed this story where it belongs: On everyone’s mind and open on their device’s screen. Instead, it’s a footnote overshadowed by stories that (rightfully) blast coach Jim Harbaugh’s record vs. ranked teams and rivals.

Playing the Spartans excited Anthony. Eager and ready, he wanted nothing more than to play well and prove that he could provide some oomph to the Wolverines’ passing attack.

“Being able to be put into position by the coaches, and stuff like that … the players believing in me. [QB] Cade [McNamara] giving me an opportunity. … I mean, it meant, like, the world to me,” Anthony said in a humble tone. “The coaches … yeah, I’m a true freshman and everything like that — but they really believed in me. That meant a lot to me.”

Michigan has to incorporate more of Anthony. After Saturday, there is no reason to ponder possibilities. He broadcast his capabilities to the masses vs. the No. 8-ranked team in the nation.

Anthony had about as perfect of a debut possible, and it was under storybook circumstances. College football tales simply do not get any better than this.

It’s a shame the Wolverines lost, for the sake of a great story.

Anthony deserves more attention for his accomplishments, not to simply be remembered as the kid who had a magnificent debut during a tough rivalry loss. Here is a player who has scored a pair of touchdowns and has barely touched the ball. He had a 6-yard rushing TD during UM’s 33-7 win over Northwestern. He played 7 snaps vs. Western Michigan in Week 2.

He’s provided an excellent appetizer. Now it’s time for Michigan to let Anthony dish up the entrée.