December 10, 2011

Tide commit has monster week at All-Star game

MONTGOMERY | University of Alabama linebacker commitment Ryan Anderson didn't necessarily have anything to prove this week at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game, but you wouldn't know it with the way he performed.

"I've always got something to prove," Anderson said.

The Daphne linebacker put on a show this week at practice, and the consensus around the coaching staff and media is that Anderson has been the best player not just for team Alabama, but for either team.

"He is super impressive," said Decatur coach Jere Adcock, head coach of the Alabama team. "He's so big, fast, strong, intense and physical. I can't say enough about how much I've been impressed with him.

"When we watched him on tape, we knew he was something else. I couldn't wait to get here and see him in person. I'm just glad we're not going to have to practice against him anymore, and I know the tight ends and fullbacks are glad of that also."

One player in particular who is relieved to not have to face Anderson during practice anymore is Auburn High School offensive tackle Caleb Peterson, a Southern Miss commitment.

"He's a monster," Peterson said. "He's a 240-pound linebacker, and that's rare in high school football. He's strong as an ox, and he's fast, too, so if you're expecting the bull rush, he can give you the finesse move. He's a dual-threat."

Five-star quarterback Jameis Winston also had a few encounters with the Crimson Tide commitment this week, and he's looking forward to facing the Mississippi team on Saturday.

"Ryan's always trying to kill me," Winston said. "He's a beast, straight beast. Nobody can block him."

For Anderson, it's not about gaining the recognition as much as it's about proving his critics wrong. The former three-star goes hard every play, even in practice, to show people that he's best player out there despite what various recruiting services say.

"It's not about putting me on the map," Anderson said. "I'm happy that I'm going to college, and I worked hard for that, so it's not about that. Most of the time, I just want to show people that they can't rate a high school player or somebody else on something they don't know. I want to let everybody know that I'm the best."

Now a four-star on, Anderson has one last chance to make a statement at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. His defensive coordinator this week, Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey, can't wait to see what he does on Saturday.

"He's got a big motor, and he shows up and plays hard," Godsey said. "I'm really excited to see what he does in the game because he has had a great week and he's really stood out. I'm expecting big things out of him."

Anderson is expected to enroll early at UA and begin taking classes in January.

Reach Greg Ostendorf at [email protected]

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