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Alabama linebacker wins 2022 Rotary Lombardi Award

Alabama LB Will Anderson Jr. (#31) waves to fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium as he exits the field after victory over Vanderbilt in 2022 season.
Gary Cosby Jr. - USA Today Sports

He did not have the immense production from his sophomore season, but Will Anderson goes down as one of Alabama’s most fearsome edge rushers in school history.

The junior from Georgia has ended the regular season with national awards.

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In back-to-back seasons, Anderson won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year (Associated Press). He also earned SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year from the league’s coaches. According to the Rotary Club of Houston, Anderson took home the Rotary Lombardi Trophy on Wednesday — becoming the third player in Crimson Tide history to win it. He joins Cornelius Bennett (1986) and Jonathan Allen (2016). The Rotary Lombardi Award goes to the offensive or defensive lineman in college football who exemplifies the character and discipline of NFL Hall of Fame head coach Vince Lombardi in addition to outstanding performance and ability. Anderson has been a defensive leader for Alabama since 2020.

He is second to Derrick Thomas for career sacks (34.5) and tackles for loss (62) in school history. Anderson was voted by his teammates as a permanent team captain. He finished the regular season with 51 total tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 12 quarterback hurries, a pass breakup, a blocked field goal, and an interception returned for a 25-yard touchdown.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pounder projects as a top-five pick for the NFL Draft next April.

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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. 

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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