2012 Signee Spotlight: Zaire Anderson

From the moment he steps on campus, Zaire Anderson will have a lot of expectations.

Zaire Anderson:

6-foot-1, 220 pounds / Riverside Junior College (Riverside, CA)


"The great thing about Zaire Anderson is that he is going to be perfect for a 3-4 scheme. He's an attacking style linebacker and he understands football. Zaire has football intelligence. "
- Riverside Associate Head Coach Darrin Chiaverini / 4-year NFL vet


2011 Scout.com JC Football Rankings (full list):
Pos: MLB Pos Rank: JC Pos Rating:


JC 2011: 95 tackles, 7 sacks, 2 BR


The Lowdown: Anderson is set to be one of two junior college products to sign with Nebraska in the 2012 class.



After picking up an offer from Nebraska in the middle of October, Anderson didn't take very long to mull it over. In a matter of four days, Anderson pulled the trigger – suprising many by committing before even taking a visit.

"I want to be part of a great defense," he said at the time of his commitment.

Fast forward a month later, and Anderson was on Nebraska's campus for an official visit, checking to make sure he made the right choice.

"The trip went great, real great," Anderson said shortly after the Iowa game. "I liked everything. I liked the coaches, the game, the fans, the crowd; I just liked everything. Everything was as great as I expected it to be...I'm not taking any more visits."

So what came in the following weeks ahead surprised many Husker fans. A visit to Texas Tech during the second week of December. Something the coaching staff, including head coach Bo Pelini, weren't exactly happy with.

"It was O.K. It wasn't as good as Lincoln. Not even close," said Anderson at the time. "I just wanted to get out because I wasn't going to be doing anything...I'm solid to Nebraska."

And from that point on, Nebraska fans haven't needed to worry about the California junior college transfer.

Anderson played more of a walk-up outside linebacker/defensive end his freshman year in junior college which led some to wonder where he might fit. At the position hs showed solid speed and defensive awareness. As a sophomore though, Anderson successfully transitioned to the MIKE spot and was a wrecking ball. Showing the capability to provide a spark with a huge hit.


Why Nebraska: "A lot of junior college players come in and come in to play. Coach Els said that I was the only junior college guy they were recruiting at linebacker."

Who Else: Texas Tech, Akron, Kentucky and Mississippi State. The juco product checked out Lubbock after committing, but admitted it was probably a mistake.

Who Recruited Him: Ross Els

BRR Projection: Make no doubt about it. Zaire Anderson was recruited out of junior college to start right away. Expect him to be on the same plan as guys like Lavonte David and Daimion Stafford. The Nebraska coaching staff will start him off slow and by the end of the year he should be one of the biggest contributors on defense. But fans should hold off their Lavonte David comparisons. He's a nice player, a star in the making, but it's unfair to put the pressures of being the next All-American on him.

To talk about Anderson with other BRR members: CLICK HERE

***Bryan Munson contributed to this report ***

%%MATCH_9%% has covered college football and recruiting for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2008. He is now the Publisher of Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics.
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