Anderson excited with new role

For the past two years, Kevin Anderson was stuck behind a talented veteran receiving corps with little chance to prove himself. This year the sophomore is catching everyone's attention, but not at his original role, but rather at cornerback where he has already been battling to be part of the two-deep.

"Coach Graham came up with the idea to switch positions," Anderson recalled. "The position change seemed drastic in the begging but I am all for it. I was just playing around during the team session and mimicking the defense, because I hear their calls every day at practice. Coach Graham called me over and told me that he thought I could become a good corner."

The next step was for Anderson to get some practice squaring off against players at his former position. "I was facing wide receivers in one on one and two on two drills, and I did pretty well," Anderson said. "After that Graham had me practice with the 2nd team and switch to a full time defensive back."

With little experience playing defensive back, Anderson says that the change in position is both exciting and nerve-racking.

"It's bittersweet, I never played defensive back ever in my life," Anderson described. "Today (Wednesday) was literally my fifth day playing at the position. Coach Graham took the opportunity to acknowledge my athleticism and versatility and that give me confidence"

Anderson hasn't played even a single snap at wide receiver last year, and thee he knows that his odds of seeing the field much better playing cornerback.

"I wasn't getting an opportunity on offense," Anderson commented, "so I am trying to make a difference on defense."

Anderson stated that the biggest adjustment he has had to make was learning new techniques as well as adapting to a different style of practice. "The biggest thing has been learning how to run backwards and switch directions while running backward," Anderson explained. "I also had to learn to how read coverage's from the other side of the ball.

"I like the defense practice style better. On offense practice is really technical and quiet. I am a rowdy guy, I like to talk, [and] on defense they know how to harness the energy and use it to make plays. I am a high energy guy, so I think the practice style suits me well."

Even with only five days of experience at defensive back, Anderson is confident he will be ready to play in the season opener next week if his number is called.

"I am constantly in the other defensive backs and coaches' ears," Anderson remarked. "I am just trying to soak everything up and be ready for NAU. I just want to help make a statement and help the team wherever they need me. I am not a selfish player, I just want to make plays on the field and help the team compete."

Anderson attributes his experience at wide receiver as being one of the keys to his quick success at corner. "It definitely gives me an edge," Anderson claimed. "I know how wide receivers run their routes and extend plays. I also know what type of routes to expect a wide receiver to run depending on the down and yardage of the play."

Kevin Anderson mentioned his Lakewood High School friend and ASU teammate, Rashad Wadood, has being an invaluable asset in helping him make the transition. "He has been helping me a lot," Anderson said of Wadood, "and [he has been] helping me understand the defensive assignments. I have been leaning on him a lot these past few days."

After practicing on both sides of the ball this fall camp, Kevin's is anticipating a successful season despite pundits' gloom predictions, and he believes this team in 2012 will embrace the underdog role.

"Expectations are high, and my standards for the team are high," Anderson said. "I think this team is going to shock a lot of people that doubt us. I like being the underdog, [and] I hope the team likes that too. I love shutting the doubters up.

"People are picking us to go 4-8 [and] we can shut all of those people up with how we play."

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