His linebacker role is clearly defined for the University of Alabama football team. Yet, Will Anderson, Jr. just might desire to add more game day duties.
“I think me and (UA offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien) are going to have a good conversation (Monday), at the end of practice, see what packages they have for me,” Anderson said.
We assume Anderson was kidding, but he did show some offensive skills in Saturday’s win over Louisiana-Monroe at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Anderson was in the right place at the right time when a first quarter pass behind the line of scrimmage was batted up high in the air. He grabbed the football and turned into a running back, outrunning one player, stiff arming another and completing the 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Anderson has done a whole bunch of good things on the football field while at Alabama. For that matter, he did a whole bunch of things while starring at Dutchtown High in Hampton, Georgia.
He never was a ball carrier on either of those levels.
“The last time I ran the ball was Rec Ball, probably had a few touchdowns, not a lot,” Anderson said. “That’s probably the last time I ran the ball.”
Anderson was asked if touchdowns and interceptions were more fun than getting sacks, which is what he’s become well known for over the past two-plus seasons.
“I think sacks, that’s basically my job,” Anderson said. “That’s bound to happen at any point in the game. It’s what you work for when you’re playing my position. To get an interception, with everything that’s going on, that’s a big accomplishment. There’s not a lot of opportunities you get. You can tip a ball or something like that. But, to get an interception, it’s kind of here and there. To have one under my belt now, it feels great.”
It also may have helped fill his wallet.
Anderson said a group of defensive players were talking before the game. They decided each would put in $20 and the first defender to come up with a turnover got the money. Anderson’s interception was the only turnover forced in the game for the Crimson Tide.
Did he collect the money?
“We got to see, because they’re playing right now,” Anderson said. “They keep bringing up this NIL stuff, saying Will Anderson doesn’t need it. I’m going to get my 20 out of everybody.”
Even without the money, it is a special memory for Anderson.
“When I was on the field, I was kind of shocked I had it,” Anderson said. “When I started running with it, I was even more shocked. Shocks just kept coming. When we got to the end zone, it was fun, just to see how excited my teammates were for me. It was most definitely a top five moment since I’ve been here.”
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