Josh Pate: “Alabama Has the Two Best Linebackers in College Football”
Things are about to get in scary in Tuscaloosa, Ala., with Will Anderson and Dallas Turner rushing the passer in 2022. The former five-star recruits are a frightening duo that will give opposing quarterbacks nightmares.
Josh Pate, host of “The Late Kick” podcast on 247Sports believes the two Crimson Tide edge rushers are the best linebackers in the country.
“The linebacker room at Alabama is about as disgusting as it gets,” said Pate. “I think they have the two best linebackers in college football, they got Will Anderson and they got Dallas Turner. I know everyone agrees on Anderson, I think by seasons end you’re going to look at 15 and think he’s right there with Will Anderson. They are two phenomenal players.”
Anderson is rated as the No. 1 overall player on virtually every big board for the 2023 NFL Draft. As a freshman in 2020, he finished with 52 tackles, including 8.5 for loss, seven sacks and a team-high eight quarterback pressures. He was selected as the Shaun Alexander-FWAA Freshman of the Year and picked up Freshman All-American and second team All-SEC honors.
He followed it up with one of the greatest seasons for defensive player in college football history. Anderson led the country in sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5). Anderson had a four-sack performance in a game against Mississippi State and posted a career-best 12 tackles, including four for loss against LSU. He was presented the Bronko Nagurski Award, awarded to the nation's top defensive player and earned unanimous All-American honors. Anderson also picked up defensive MVP honors in the Cotton Bowl.
The Georgia native is relentless on the field. He displays incredible strength and can simply overpower his opponent. He has strong, powerful hands and excellent bend coming off the line of scrimmage. Anderson plays every snap the same way, full speed with a relentless pursuit.
His counterpart, Dallas Turner put together a stellar freshman campaign in 2021. A reserve and special teams contributor early in the season, Turner earned his first career start in week six against Texas A&M because of injuries to Christopher Allen and Drew Sanders. He registered two sacks against LSU and would only get better from there. Turner tallied 8.5 sacks in Alabama’s final seven games. He recorded 30 tackles, including ten for loss and picked All-SEC Freshman and Freshman All-American honors.
Turner is explosive off his stance and plays with a high motor. He has excellent athleticism and at just 19-years-old, sky is the limit for what kind of player Turner will continue to develop into.