Coach Spotlight: Ryan Anderson
"Ryan was very instrumental in the playoff run," said head coach Glenn Vickery. "We faced some of the state's top quarterbacks and a variety of offensive styles. We played Wetumpka with Alabama's Mr. Football Jamal Golden, Davidson's option, and Foley's spread. Having an end like Anderson, who can control the backside, was substantial. Hoover had outstanding offensive linemen, and they had trouble blocking him in the championship game."
In a low scoring defensive struggle, the Daphne defense fended off Hoover's final drive to win 7-6. Anderson came up big in the clutch.
"We needed a goal-line stand," Vickery said of the game. "On the second play, Ryan made a solo tackle on the quarterback who was running the Wildcat. Throughout the entire playoff run, our defense would feed off Ryan's emotion."
Anderson, 6-3, 250, made 75 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, an had one interception in 2010. He was named 6A 2nd team All-State and All County (Baldwin). Vickery says he's come a long way as a player.
"When Ryan started out, he was an athletic kid with no experience," Vickery said. "With each snap he got under his belt, he got better and better every game.
"At the end of the season, offenses would run away from him. Ryan's motor never stops going. He plays the game with high intensity. He's a very physical player, very hard to block, and fast. With his athletic ability, he chases running backs down from behind. He's going to continue to improve. We have yet to see Ryan at the top of his ability."
When teammate T.J. Yeldon started to garner attention in his sophomore season, coaches began to pay more attention to Anderson when attending a Daphne practice session. Offers ensued with his dominant junior performance. Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, Illinois, Florida State, and Tennessee were in hot pursuit of Anderson's services prior to April 19th. Anderson gave his verbal pledge to the Crimson Tide coaching staff on a visit to Tuscaloosa with his mother.
"Ryan's been an Alabama fan since he was a kid," Vickery said. "It's not often a player gets a chance to play for the school they've always dreamed of playing for. He felt it was the right fit for him, and I think that's where he wanted to be since the beginning."
Vickery has a solid core of seniors in T.J. Yeldon at running back, Anderson and Eric Lee as defensive ends, and Torren McGaster in the secondary, for the 2011 edition of Daphne Trojan football. He expects the experience Anderson gained last season will translate into an even better senior season.
"Ryan has a lively personality," Vickery said. "He's a good kid who has fought through some things early on to become a solid citizen. It's a great complement to Ryan's maturation to see him get on his peers in the weight room. He's knows how important conditioning is to what we do. He's become a leader by example showing the other players how to do things the right way. In the off-season, he's focusing on the weight room and improving his body strength. He's intense in his workouts and has a tremendous work ethic. His goal is to lift that 'Blue Trophy' one more time."
Vickery won the 'Blue Trophy', given to the 6A state champion, in his seventh season as Daphne Head Coach. He was preceded by Steve Savarese who won Daphne's first state title in 2001. Jeremy Clark and Kenny King are two former Daphne players who would later star at the University of Alabama. Both went on to play in the NFL.
Ryan Anderson wears No. 7 for Daphne's Purple & Gold Trojans. The team went a perfect 15-0 in 2010, and the defense only allowed 9.53 points per game.
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