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Alabama LB Will Anderson has Heisman Trophy locked in as a goal for junior season

Will Anderson looks on at Alabama football bowl prep for Cincinnati
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Will Anderson did not have the Heisman Trophy on his list of preseason goals for 2021, but the Alabama outside linebacker dominated college football.

He was a finalist for the coveted bronze award and should have been in New York City for the presentation. Anderson had one of the greatest performances for a Crimson Tide player in school history and college football history. He led the team and nation in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5). As an edge rusher, Anderson finished with 102 total tackles, nine quarterback hurries (team-high), and three pass deflections. He won the Bronko Nagurski Award and was a finalist for the Dick Butkus Award.

RELATED: Dallas Turner shows ultimate respect to Will Anderson in growth as a linebacker: “I feed off him”

Anderson earned SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and was voted a permanent team captain.

He guided the Crimson Tide to a conference championship and a Cotton Bowl victory, but he wants another national title. On Thursday, Anderson was on The Paul Finebaum Show. The junior has added a new goal to his list for this season.

“When I sat down and wrote my goals for the season, the Heisman was not in my mind,” Anderson said. “It was nowhere to be found, but when the train got rolling and the Heisman hype started, I thought it was cool. It was dope for a defensive player to get that hype. Overall, I am looking forward to having it on my goal list this year. I am looking forward to it.”

Anderson will have stiff competition as his teammate and reigning Heisman winner, Bryce Young is back.

Young is trying to be the first player since Archie Griffin to repeat as a Heisman winner. Crimson Tide fans would love to see Anderson become the first defensive player since Charles Woodson (1997, Michigan) to win the 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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