NFL Scouting Combine Notebook: Humble Anderson ready for spotlight

Mar. 1—INDIANAPOLIS — Will Anderson was the most decorated player in college football for the 2022 season.

The Alabama star's impressive list of accolades includes being named a first-team All-American, winning the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defender and taking SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound pass rusher also is primed to become the first defender selected in next month's NFL Draft.

As Anderson addressed the media Wednesday during the NFL Scouting Combine, he was asked how he remains humble amidst the sea of praise.

"One lady — Tereon Anderson, my mom," he said as his mouth formed a wide smile. "She's always gonna keep me grounded."

Women have played a huge role in Anderson's life.

His agent is rising superstar Nicole Lynn, and he grew up with five sisters who helped shape the man he's become on and off the field.

"All my sisters, they played sports," Anderson said. "They played basketball. They ran track, (played) volleyball, and I watched them. I watched how they worked. I watched their work ethic. I took the good. I left the bad.

"... They put a lot into me. They made a lot of sacrifices for me, right up and down the road, giving me advice, telling me different things, how it'll go. So it was great. So that's kind of how they molded me into the athlete I am today."

Anderson could be the first player taken overall, if the Chicago Bears decide not to trade the pick. But he's met with seven teams already this week in downtown Indianapolis, and he seems likely to go somewhere in the top five — even with quarterbacks expected to fly off the board early.

His dominance the last two seasons is evident in the raw numbers. Anderson compiled 27.5 sacks and 48 tackles for loss during his final two years with the Crimson Tide, consistently wrecking offensive game plans in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference and leading to his oversized haul of postseason hardware at the end of 2022.

Anderson said he's versatile enough to fit into any defensive scheme, and he's open to whatever he'll be asked to do at the next level.

"I feel like what I bring to the table, being humble," he said. "Whatever culture I'm in, I'm gonna do things the right way. And I think that's what sets me apart."


Less than an hour before Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter was scheduled to speak Wednesday at the Indiana Convention Center, news broke the Athens-Clarke County Police Department has secured arrest warrants and plans to charge the draft prospect in connection to a fatal crash in January.

Carter reportedly left the Combine at some point Wednesday morning or Tuesday night to return to Georgia. Expected charges include reckless driving and racing.

Georgia offensive lineman Devin Willock and recruiting staff member Chandler LeCroy were killed in the crash that happened on Jan. 15, hours after the Bulldogs celebrated their second straight national championship.

According to a police report, LeCroy's vehicle was traveling at 104 mph when the crash occurred around 2:30 a.m. near downtown Athens, and a toxicology report indicated the driver had a blood-alcohol content of .197 — more than twice the legal limit in Georgia.

Carter was driving a second vehicle suspected of racing LeCroy.

"The evidence demonstrated that both vehicles switched between lanes, drove in the center turn lane, drove in opposite lanes of travel, overtook other motorists and drove at high rates of speed in an apparent attempt to outdistance each other," a police statement said.

A first-team All-American, Carter has been projected as high as the No. 1 overall prospect in this draft class by many evaluators.


Aaron Rodgers likely will be the first domino to fall this offseason, and he is expected to make a decision soon on his future.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback recently completed a four-day darkness retreat as he contemplates whether — and where — he wants to play in the NFL next season.

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst indicated Tuesday at the Combine he'd like a decision to be in place before free agency begins March 15. Speaking on the "Aubrey Marcus Podcast," Rodgers agreed there's an urgency to the process.

"For everybody involved, directly and indirectly, it's best for a decision earlier," Rodgers said. "I feel really good about the conversations that are gonna be had, that have been had, with the important people in my life that help to orient me. But I'm not looking for somebody to tell me what the answer is.

"All the answers are right inside me, and I touched many of them — and definitely the feelings — on both sides during the darkness. I'm thankful for that time. There's a finality to the decision. I don't make it lightly. I don't want to drag anybody around."