A recurring series where we will profile every player on Maryland's roster, counting down to kick-off against William & Mary on September 1. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.
Today we profile a player who has repeatedly moved between tackle and end.
Justin Anderson, Junior (RS), Defensive End, #95
Major: American Studies
Collegiate Stats: 25 tackles (16 assisted), six for a loss, two sacks, one fumble forced
High School Stats (Senior Year): 51 tackles (17 assisted), two sacks, nine quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one blocked kick
Recruiting Ratings: Three stars by Rivals (#30 in SC, #60 SDE), Scout (#63 DE), ESPN (#124 DE)
High School: Blythewood
Hometown: Blythewood, SC.
High School Highlights:
None we could find.
How'd He Get to College Park?
Anderson was a defensive end prospect coming out of Blythewood, South Carolina, and ended up choosing Maryland over a bevy of mid-major schools. He was also recruited by Clemson, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina, among others, but it doesn’t appear he received an offer from any of them. Former defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo brought him to College Park, and since then Anderson has been switching back and forth between the inside and outside.
Originally predicted as a defensive end, Anderson played the last six games of his true freshman season as a reserve defensive tackle, recording three tackles. Before his sophomore year, he moved back to the outside, and started all 13 games at the now-defunct anchor position, where he recorded 22 tackles with only two sacks, and the coaches moved him back inside before the start of last season.
Anderson then suffered an injury during the preseason and missed all of last year, using his redshirt season. He has since moved back to defensive end, marking the fourth straight year he's switched between the two.
For the record, trying to find information about a Justin Anderson at Maryland on Google is one of the most depressing things you can do. It's why we get paid the big bucks. Even searching "Justin Anderson Blythewood" on YouTube brings up Montrose Christian highlights.
Justin "Mr." Anderson
Starting all 13 games in his sophomore year.
Switching between interior and exterior line every season since he's come to Maryland.
Anderson earns the spot opposite Joe Vellano at defensive end, spending his last two seasons in College Park as a starter.
Justin Anderson entered the spring depth chart third on Joe Vellano's defensive end spot, behind Vellano and Isaiah Ross and in front of Quinton Jefferson. Vellano is the unquestioned starter, and Anderson will be hoping to either hold off Ross and Jefferson, securing the back-up spot and likely next year's starting spot, or shift over to the other side to beat out Keith Bowers, Andre Monroe and Ian Evans.
The more likely scenario is Anderson serving as an all-purpose back-up defensive lineman (same with Andre Monroe, but more on that in a few days). His experience at multiple D-Line positions will come in handy with the new 3-4, which requires defensive ends to have a combination of talents from both positions. In all honesty, he could be the best suited of any of Maryland's defensive linemen to make the formation switch.
Anderson has been a full-time starter for Maryland in the past, but didn't exactly turn heads, and that's what's stopping us from saying he'll be beating anyone out for jobs this year. In 13 games as a starter, he had 22 tackles, with only two sacks. That's not enough production from a lineman on what was a very good defense.
Anderson will probably see a good amount of time off the bench this year, especially early on as the team adjusts to the new system. Just don't expect him to be starting anytime soon.
Our next player shares his name with a former Nevada player who has spent his whole pro career either on NFL practice squads, with Arena Football teams, or in the UFL.
kbuts151 got yesterday's right, giving him sole possession of second place.
Maryland1206 - 5
kbuts151 - 2
Terpsfinish - 1
ClickClack62 - 1
Mdak06 - 1
Everybody else - 0