BRR 2014 profile: Zaire Anderson

The starting WILL linebacker looked like a different man this spring.

Zaire Anderson

Position: Linebacker

Height/Weight: 5-foot-11/220-pounds

High school: Frankford HS (PA)

Junior college: Riverside C.C.

Year: Senior

2013 review:
Anderson became a staple on defense in the second half of the season, starting five of the final seven contests for the Huskers.

Against Minnesota, Anderson had the best game of his career numbers wise, recording 11 tackles. He finished the year with 52 stops, 35 of them coming in the final seven contests. He also recorded three sacks as a blitzing linebacker.

2014 preview:
The former junior college product looked like a different man this spring, showing he was comfortable in Bo Pelini's defensive scheme. Anderson looked to be a step faster, likely because his defensive awareness is at an all-time high.

“I have been consistent all throughout the spring, being physical and knowing my assignments,” said Anderson minutes after the Red-White game in April. “I have been working hard and trying to get better each and every day.”

BRR projection: The senior will be the Huskers’ starting WILL in the 4-3, there is no question about it. The question is, how much will he play in the NICKEL?

The outside linebacker showed an ability to get to quarterbacks last season on the blitz and could get more opportunities this year if the defense has taken a step forward as expected. The Nebraska Blackshirts looked their best last season when they put their ears back and had some fun, according to multiple players in the spring.

How he ended up in Lincoln:
After picking up an offer from Nebraska in the middle of October of 2011, Anderson didn't take very long to mull it over. In a matter of four days, Anderson pulled the trigger – surprising many by committing before even taking a visit.

At Riverside Community College, Anderson played more of a walk-up outside linebacker/defensive end his freshman, which led some to wonder where he might fit. At the position, he 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. In 2011, he recorded 95 tackles, seven sacks, and two pass-breakups.

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