No one should have a problem with Tim Williams getting the preseason recognition he has received. Williams, a 6-4, 252-pound upcoming senior outside linebacker, certainly made his mark for the Alabama national championship team in 2015 as he played in all 15 games.
Williams has been mentioned for several national awards and was preseason All-Southeastern Conference following this year’s SEC Media Days. And why not? Last year in just part-time work (meaning passing situations) he was in on 19 tackles, but had 10 1/2 sacks for 78 yards in losses, another couple of tackles behind the line for an additional 14 yards lost by the opponent, 4 quarterback pressures, and one pass break-up.
Williams spent the spring as Bama’s No. 1 player at jack linebacker and is expected to be there when the Crimson Tide begins practice Thursday.
Almost lost in the enthusiasm for Williams moving up to starter is the rise of another former back-up outside linebacker.
In 2015, the nominal starters outside were Denzel Devall, who was in on 25 tackles, and Dillon Lee, who was in on 27.
Often trotting onto the field in passing situations along with Williams was Ryan Anderson, who played in all 15 games and who finished spring practice as the first team strongside linebacker, also an outside positions.
Anderson, a fifth-year senior, is 6-2, 253, and has earned three letters. In 2015 he was in on more tackles than Williams or Lee or Devall. Anderson was in on 37 tackles last year, 21 primary, including 11 1/2 for 50 yards in losses with 6 of them sacks for 41 minus yards. He also had 9 quarterback pressures and caused and recovered two fumbles.
The Daphne native has played in 42 games at Alabama and been in on 67 tackles, 34 primary, with 21 tackles for loss for 91 yards, including 10 1/2 sacks for 73 yards. He has 19 quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles, and three recoveries.
Many remember Alabama clinching the 19-14 win over Tennessee when A’Shawn Robinson recovered a Vols’ fumble inside the 10-yard line to allow the Tide to run out the clock. The fumble was caused by Ryan Anderson.
Yet Anderson seems to be getting the Rodney Dangerfield treatment: “I don’t get no respect.”
Alabama coaches certainly know Ryan Anderson, who was named a defensive player of the week by the staff following last year’s Arkansas and Tennessee games, and opposing offensive coordinators would be wise to respect Anderson.