Lane Kiffin on Will Anderson: “He Looks Like Derrick Thomas”
Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin had some high praise for Will Anderson during the Wednesday SEC coaches teleconference.
"He's a dominant player. He looks like Derrick Thomas, which is amazing at his age," said Kiffin. "The guy's just a freak...they've got some great players all over, but he's the best of them all."
Anderson has been a dominant force in Alabama's defense from the moment he stepped on campus. The former 5-star linebacker started every game for the Crimson Tide in 2020 as a true freshman and registered 52 total tackles and finished third in the SEC in sacks with seven and tackles for loss at 10.5 to go with a team-high eight quarterback pressures. Anderson earned Freshman All-American and Second-Team All-SEC honors and was selected as the Shaun Alexander-FWAA Freshman of the Year.
The Dutchtown, Ga. native has been off to a great start in his sophomore campaign. Through four games this season, Anderson has tallied 24 total tackles, two sacks and a team-high eight tackles for loss. He has earned defensive player of the week recognition from the Alabama coaching staff for his play against Miami and Florida.
Thomas was a dominant player in his own right during his time in Tuscaloosa. In 1988, Thomas set an NCAA record with 27 sacks and brought home the Butkus Award. He was selected fourth overall by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1989 NFL Draft. He was named Defensive Rookie of the Year and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl in his first season.
Thomas played 11 seasons in the NFL before his death in 2000. He set the Chiefs' franchise record in sacks with 126.5. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.
However, Thomas' impact goes beyond the football field. He was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1993 and was awarded the NFLPA Alan Page Community Award in 1995 which annually recognizes one player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his hometown and team city.
Alabama is currently riding an 18-game winning streak, the longest in the country heading into Saturday's home showdown against Ole Miss.