Profile: Nihym Anderson
Position: Outside linebacker
High School: Vineland (N.J.) High
Scouting Report: Anderson, the No. 1 outside linebacker in New Jersey's 2018 class, is a downhill player with good anticipation and burst. He is at his best when run-blitzing, or reading a play and getting up the field.
His highlights (in the video player at the top of the page) are filled with getting into the backfield on blitzes, but in college those plays are not readily available because the athleticism and ability of offensive linemen is markedly higher. Also, blocking schemes are more complex.
So, what should the focus be when watching junior film?
What makes Anderson a high-level prospect is his change of direction, his acceleration and ability to close on a ball carrier, and his strength in disengaging from a blocker and making a play. His instincts are good, and he is a good tackler. He recognizes plays quickly, which means he knows how to read formations. Not only is he strong, Anderson plays physical.
Anderson can play in traffic between the tackles, and he locates the ball carrier well. He needs to show he can get to the edge consistently and with speed. Although he is fast over 10 yards, he needs to show he can chase 25 yards and get to the ball at the sideline.
Maryland likes him as a strong-side linebacker, so he must work on his coverage. Anderson needs to learn proper depth in zone coverage, and when matched up against a tight end, show he can get into and out of breaks and stay on the hip of the pass catcher. He reacts well to passes in front of him and he closes on the ball well.
Final Analysis: Moving into South Jersey and grabbing a high-level prospect for the second year in a row sends a big message on the recruiting trail. Aside from that, Anderson gives Maryland an option of early depth or developing depth.
He has the strength and knowledge in a run-stopping role to play as a true freshman, but would best be suited to red-shirt for a season to learn pass coverage and be a more complete linebacker who can stay on the field every down.