Matt Cashore /

ND A to Z: Josh Anderson

Now in his fifth year at Notre Dame, Anderson has worn many hats for the Irish, including an undersized but game Leonard Fournette as ND prepared for LSU in the ’14 Music City Bowl.

Anderson’s best opportunity for playing time came in 2015 when Tarean Folston went down with a season-ending injury in Week One and C.J. Prosise battled injuries throughout most of the second half of the season. Josh Adams emerged, however, and Anderson saw action in one game – the opener against Texas. Anderson remained, however, on Notre Dame’s short list of game-ready running backs.

With the arrival of freshman running backs Tony Jones Jr. and Deon McIntosh, the return to health of Folston, the development of Adams, and the evolution of Dexter Williams as a between-the-tackles runner, Anderson will have to settle for mop-up duty in one-sided victories while simulating opposing running backs on the Irish prep team.

John Lyons was a senior walk-on running back in 2006 when the Irish went 10-3 in Charlie Weis’ second season as head coach at Notre Dame. Like Anderson, Lyons played in one game and carried two times as a senior (for 14 yards vs. Army). Anderson carried twice for a yard vs. the Longhorns in ’15.

Anderson, a 5-foot-9, 205-pounder from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., played fullback, tight end and defensive end on the prep level. From the same high school as former Irish quarterback Dayne Crist and the same league as quarterback Jimmy Clausen and running back Cierre Wood, Anderson received some recruiting interest from FCS, Division II and Division III schools. The fact that he earned a scholarship from Notre Dame during his senior year far exceeds his recruiting prospects coming out of high school.

Anderson’s finest moment came in uniform…in Isban Auditorium of the Guglielmino Athletics Complex at the unveiling of the 2015 Shamrock Series uniforms. Thinking he simply was chosen to model the uniforms for the Nov. 21 game against Boston College in Fenway Park, Anderson did his job. Head coach Brian Kelly then announced that Anderson had been granted a scholarship for the 2015 season. The video went viral as the team’s reaction to the news and celebration with Anderson said much about their feelings toward the hard-working running back.

“He’s a great model -- that’s why I brought him up here -- because he models a lot of the things that are right with Notre Dame football. He’s worked hard since he got here. He’s a walk-on, (but) today, Josh, congratulations, we’re awarding you a scholarship.”
-- Brian Kelly on Aug. 13, 2015

“My entire life, my dream was to go to Notre Dame and just get into the university. I played football in high school. Another dream of mine was to possibly be on scholarship at Notre Dame. I’m so blessed to be able to say I received a scholarship from the University of Notre Dame.”
-- Josh Anderson Top Stories