Will Anderson reflects on 2021 Heisman campaign, sets sights on 2022 award
Will Anderson didn’t have the Heisman Trophy on his goals list for the 2021 season. College football’s most prominent individual award, though, has made the Alabama linebacker’s goal list for 2022, he confirmed Friday to Paul Finebaum.
Anderson reflected on his 2021 candidacy during an appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show.” Defensive players face an uphill battle to get into the Heisman candidacy, but chatter of Anderson as a Heisman candidate picked up steam as the season progressed. When the voting deadline approached, the standout Crimson Tide linebacker was being mentioned as a serious candidate. Anderson appreciated all the support.
“I want to just give a big shoutout to all the people that supported me – they thought I should have been there, and of course, I thought I should have been there – for them recognizing my play and my hard work,” he told Finebaum.
“Like I told many people, it was quite a blessing because when I sat down and wrote my goals for the offseason, the Heisman was not even in my mind. It was nowhere to be found. But when the train got rolling and everything and the Heisman hype started, I thought it was pretty cool, I thought it very dope for a defensive player to get that hype. I started thinking I did have a chance.”
Anderson finished the 2021 season with 102 tackles, including 34.5 for loss and 17 sacks, picking up the Bronko Nagurski Trophy for top defensive player while being recognized as a unanimous All-American and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. This time around, Anderson will go into the season with the goal of becoming the first defensive player since Charles Woodson to win the Heisman Trophy.
“I’m looking forward to it again,” Anderson said. “It’s most definitely on my goal list this year coming up, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Will Anderson Jr. says the Heisman wasn't something he put on his goals list last season, but he ended up making a case to be a finalist.
This year, he's putting the trophy on that goals list. pic.twitter.com/Ra2Hso1epS
— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) June 17, 2022