Alabama linebacker Will Anderson wasn’t invited to New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist, even though many thought he deserved to be there after a stellar second season.
Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young ultimately won college football’s most coveted individual award, while Anderson finished fifth in votes – but received the third most votes. This year, however, Anderson wants to prove he’s the best player in the country.
“I just want to thank everyone who supported me – they thought I should have been there, and of course I thought I should have been there – for them to recognize my game and my hard work” , said Anderson. in an appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show.
“Like I’ve told a lot of people, it wasn’t really a blessing because when I sat down and wrote down my goals for the offseason, the Heisman wasn’t even on my mind. He was nowhere to be found But when the train started rolling and it all started and the Heisman hype started I thought that was pretty cool I thought that was very dope for a defensive player to get that hype. I started to think I had a chance. I was out there playing hard, helping my teammates, trying my best.
“But I mean, overall I’m looking forward to it again. It’s definitely on my bucket list this year, so I’m looking forward to it.
In his second year on the program and as a starter, Anderson produced one of the best individual seasons by a defensive player in Alabama history. The second finished with 101 tackles, 33.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks and led the nation in both tackles for loss and sacks, with his TFL total finishing 11.5 more than second place (Devin Lloyd of Utah, 22.0). Anderson’s 2021 campaign resulted in the second-most tackles for loss and third-most sacks for a Crimson Tide player. His 101 total tackles (57 solo) were also good for sixth place in the conference.
After the regular season, Anderson was named SEC Defensive Player of the Year by league coaches and the Associated Press. Including the AP, the star linebacker has been listed as a first-team All-American by at least nine different outlets and was Crimson Tide’s only unanimous All-American last season. He won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player and was a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award. His teammates voted Anderson permanent captain and Most Inspirational Player on the UA roster.
The star pass thrower is back for his junior campaign and will look to continue wreaking havoc on opposing offensive lines and quarterback while once again leading a now experienced Alabama defense. Anderson thinks the 2022 Crimson Tide may be one of Nick Saban’s best.
“Honestly, it gives me chills because I see the guys every day,” Anderson said at the Tuscaloosa Nike Football Skils Camp. “I know the type of work they have provided. I know the type of team we have. So it just gives me chills just to know that we have so much depth, so many good players learning what to do and knowing what to do now, and it’s very scary. I’m excited.”
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