Will Anderson compared his success to a car engine on Monday as he prepares for an opportunity to win another national championship at Alabama.
His engine has carried the most horsepower of any defensive player in college football.
As a sophomore, Anderson strikes fear into quarterbacks, stuffs running backs, frustrates offensive coordinators, abuses offensive linemen, and is the most entertaining player for fans. He leads the nation in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5) through 14 games of the 2021 season. Anderson has been consistent all year, and his performances have led to the Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. He recorded six total tackles, two tackles for loss, and two sacks in a 27-6 victory for Alabama over Cincinnati in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. Anderson harassed Desmond Ridder and took the Bearcats’ offense out of rhythm.
The 6-foot-4, 243-pounder had a great year as an outside linebacker.
He won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and earned Unanimous All-American honors.
Anderson is rising on Alabama’s all-time sacks list for a single season and career. He is a half-sack away from tying Derrick Thomas’ mark of 18 from 1987 to be second all-time for a season. Thomas is the Crimson Tide’s record holder for single-season sacks (27) from 1988.
Anderson has 24.5 career sacks, advancing him to fourth all-time in school history. He sits behind Kindal Moorehead (25, 1998-02), Jonathan Allen (28, 2013-16), and Derrick Thomas (52, 1985-88).
A native Georgian, Anderson can accomplish a few things next week.
He can propel Alabama to a national championship, move to second all-time for single-season sacks, and maybe get to second all-time for career sacks. Anderson crafts his style after Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams, but he is the most effective edge rusher for the Tide since Derrick Thomas. The opposition knows what he is about, but it cannot stop him from dropping quarterbacks. Anderson now has a date with Stetson Bennett and Georgia’s offensive line on Jan. 10.
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