Last week, Matt Zenitz shared a little hint about breakout potential for OLB Will Anderson.
Alabama sources continue to rave about freshman outside linebacker Will Anderson.— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) September 7, 2020
Has been a disruptive presence and consistent standout throughout fall camp, even when matched up against Alabama’s first-team offensive line. pic.twitter.com/8r5lxem5fB
Well, the word seems to be getting out on the national stage.
First, Bruce Feldman mentioned him in his ten freshmen to watch for 2020.
4. Will Anderson, LB, Alabama
The Tide defense struggled last year, at least by Alabama standards. The hunch here is that Nick Saban’s defense will bounce back in a big way, and the 6-3, 240-pound Anderson could have a bigger immediate impact than most Alabama freshmen do on defense. Anderson has tremendous athleticism at that size. He probably runs in the 4.7 range, but it’s his quickness and get-off that are special. He also has a great motor and displayed impressive smarts in learning the Tide’s defense.
Aaron Suttles, Feldman’s colleague at The Athletic, added some nuggets in his camp report.
The talk of camp so far might be true freshman outside linebacker Will Anderson. Anderson has impact player written all over him. My normal disclaimer about true freshmen still applies in that it’s not wise to expect anything from them, but this far into camp, he’s earning rave reviews. That doesn’t mean he’s going to start right away, but he’ll have a role in situational packages and will be a significant contributor this year. The coaching staff believes Alabama can play winning football with Ben Davis and Chris Allen, but the future is clearly Anderson. Will the future come sooner or later?
Though he made his share of big plays, poor injury luck kept Terrell Lewis from reaching his ceiling as a transcendent pass rusher in college. All indications are that Anderson has that kind of ability, and a monster coming off the edge covers for a lot of ills on defense. You may remember Nick Saban talking about Tim Williams ruining the A Day game back in 2016 because nobody could block him. The Tide hasn’t enjoyed quite that type of presence since.
With the expected improvement in interior pressure commanding extra attention, there should be an opportunity for someone to develop into a gamebreaker out there. Perhaps Anderson is that guy.
I’ll leave some highlights with which to refresh yourself below.