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Will Anderson Jr.

(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. Deserved More Heisman Hype

Will Anderson Jr.
(Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Alabama’s Will Anderson Jr. Deserved More Heisman Hype

The 2021 Heisman finalists were announced the evening of Monday, Dec. 6. The four finalists are Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, and Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett. While these are all decent options, Alabama sophomore linebacker Will Anderson Jr. did not receive nearly enough consideration for the prestigious Heisman trophy.

Will Anderson Jr. Is Alabama’s Best Player

First, I’m not certain Bryce Young is even the best football player on his own team, much less the country. Just look at this year’s Iron Bowl, a game where Young didn’t play particularly well for three quarters and the defense stepped up to allow the comeback victory. Bryce Young is still very talented, which really showed in the SEC Championship game, but Anderson is a PROBLEM. Even Alabama’s QB seemed surprised the defensive star didn’t qualify for the list of Heisman finalists. On Tuesday he said, “I definitely think he was deserving. If you look at numbers, if you look at production, I definitely think he deserves to be there. It’s unfortunate.” Will Anderson has had one of the best seasons by a defensive player in recent memory. There isn’t any good argument that he should not be a Heisman finalist.

A Look at the Numbers

The numbers suggest Crimson Tide’s best player is Anderson, who has anchored their elite defense for the entire season.

Will Anderson is leading the entire country in Tackles For Loss, with 32.5. This total clears second place by over 10 TFL, which is an insane gap. Anderson also leads the nation in Sacks, edging out Aidan Hutchinson’s 14.0 with a 15.5 mark. He was just awarded the Nagurski Trophy, an honor that goes to the best defensive player in the country. A little odd that this distinction doesn’t translate into Heisman consideration.

Will Anderson Jr. is a major snub from the list of Heisman finalists. He’s the best defensive player in the country. Give this man his due.

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