Anderson surprised in Knoxville

Keaton Anderson was the lone family member openly cheering for Alabama when the group took the trip to Knoxville this past weekend to check out the storied matchup. However, the Alabama fans in attendance made him feel right at home while at Neyland Stadium.

Keaton Anderson anticipated some friendly trash talk, possibly even some hate headed his way while heading to Knoxville, Tenn. dressed in all crimson last weekend.

Most of the rest of his family, including Tennessee football alums like his father, uncle and brother, were clad in orange as they headed for the stands -- purely as football fans and not using the annual game as a recruiting visit.

"I just waned to see my team (UA) play," he said.

Then, the three-star Alabama commitment out of Florence (Ala.) High was surprised by both fan bases during the Crimson Tide's 34-20 win over the upstart Vols.

"It was a good trip," Anderson said. "There was actually no hate at all, it was all good. People respect my decision and know I had to do what's best for me."

Outnumbered, the few Crimson Tide faithful in attendance made an impact on the senior upon seeing him throughout the day Saturday.

"It was pretty cool, when I'd walk around the stadium and 'Bama fans would stop me and recognize that I'm committed, and tell me 'Roll Tide,'" he said. "They said they were glad I was coming to 'Bama, that was a pretty awesome feeling. They knew exactly who I was, where I'm from and what position I play.

"It was crazy!"

It wasn't a bad weekend for Anderson. The day before the game, Anderson led Florence to its first ever region title by defeating Decatur (Ala.) High. The Falcons swept Class 6A, Region 8 this fall and will host a playoff game next weekend.

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