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A dominant performance and an Alabama win could place Will Anderson squarely in the Heisman mix

Will Anderson (#31) after making a tackle for Alabama versus LSU
Picture comes via Crimson Tide photos

Will Anderson has two things on his mind entering Saturday’s matchup.

He wants to show Georgia what it missed in recruiting and stamp his name firmly into the Heisman Trophy conversation.

RELATED: Even as an underdog, Alabama holds all the cards in SEC Championship Game

Anderson has delivered an incredible sophomore season for Alabama.

He has the defense in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game versus the Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pounder has been one of the most captivating players in college football.

He is the Crimson Tide’s fearless leader on defense and one of its team leaders.

Anderson’s statistics through 12 games are jaw-dropping. He has 85 total tackles – including a team-high 49 solo stops – 30.5 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, eight quarterback hurries, and two pass breakups.

Anderson leads the nation in sacks and tackles for loss.

Texas A&M served Alabama its lone blemish, but no offense has neutralized Anderson.

Offensive coaches have been frustrated with his ability to drop quarterbacks.

As a native Georgian, the former five-star was not a priority for the Bulldogs in the 2020 recruiting cycle. Anderson did not garner much attention, and the vibe sticks with him. He will play with bad intentions for Stetson Bennett.

A dominant performance from Anderson and a victory for Alabama could place him squarely in the mix for a trip to New York City. Charles Woodson, a defensive back, was the last defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy.

RELATED: Alabama QB Bryce Young named finalist for Manning Award

He earned it at the University of Michigan in 1997.

According to a graphic from the Crimson Tide’s social media, Joey Bosa (Ohio State), Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh), Chase Young (Ohio State), and Ndamukong Suh (Nebraska) were in Heisman races in college.

Anderson has more tackles and tackles for loss than all four athletes in their Heisman campaigns. He got snubbed for the Lott IMPACT Trophy and Butkus Award; however, Anderson knows the Heisman is a possibility for him.

He has been the most dominant defensive player all season. An incredible SEC Championship showing could punch his ticket for the coveted bronze honor.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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