The senior from Minneapolis couldn't have started the 2009 season any better, hauling in an 80-yard touchdown on the first offensive play of the season. He also was proud of the fact that he finished with a career high in catches (30), yards (480) and all-purpose yards (629).
Problem was the consistency and reliability factor. Anderson only had one catch in the final three games and made a few costly drops and misalignment issues at Northwestern that cost the offense. Consider that Anderson's motivatial kick in the rear to prove himself that he can be a reliable senior leader.
"I think I was pretty consistent this fall camp," Anderson said. "As a senior, I just want to be a leader on the field for the younger guys to set a course for them to follow when we are gone. I had a pretty good camp until the last season."
That last week started with a turf toe injury that Anderson tried to battle through. Favoring that toe caused a sore groin and regretting forced Anderson to the training table for a week of healing.
"It's one of those nagging injuries," Anderson said. "I came back out to practice and re-aggravated it and just set myself back a couple of more days. I had a great game plan and great communication between the coaches and the sports medicine staff. I feel like we put a pretty good plan to get me back for game week."
But while the old Anderson would have spent his time focused on his recovery, the new, experienced Anderson stood on the sideline or next to Wide Receiver Coach DelVaughn Alexander, making sure he knew what to do on every play so he could be prepared.
"Definitely being injured, you have to take mental reps on the sideline," Anderson said." You just have to alter your attitude in a way because you know you have the ability to be out there to practice and play, but the injury makes you prepare differently."
The change has shown, especially at the end of practice. In a situation where Anderson might have mailed it in, he's gone harder with his blocks and been more aggressive on his routes. With junior Nick Toon and three other seniors vying for playing time, Anderson hopes that another 80-yard, season-opening touchdown will be the ticket.
"That's the tone every year," Anderson said with a laugh. "If we get that again, strike up the band."