Varsity Preps

Avery Anderson: Mr. All-Purpose

Photo courtesy of gazette.com

Avery Anderson is sort of like the Wild Card in a deck of Uno cards. His versatility allows him to be used at several different positions, and he can change the course of a game with a single play.

The do-it-all, four-star athlete out of Pine Creek (Colorado Springs, CO) gets it done on both sides of the ball and rarely gets off the field. Anderson plays free safety, cornerback, running back, wide receiver and even returns kicks. In 2013, he racked up over 80 tackles and was a pivotal part of Pine Creek’s offense, as well. His outstanding junior season helped lead the Eagles to their first state title in school history.

“Our O-line does a great job at blocking, and the other guys on defense help me look good,” Anderson said. “The thing that really helps me play different positions is that I really try to learn everything about the game and pick up on what everyone is doing around me. That helps me focus and make plays. My speed and agility help, also.”

Speed is one of Anderson’s premier skills. He runs a 4.5 40 and has the ability to get past defenders with ease, and not much gets behind him when he’s playing defense. What may shock some people about the 6-0, 170 pounder is his strength. He has a slender frame but shouldn’t be underestimated. He plays much bigger than he looks, and his highlight tape is chocked full of big hits and him tossing ball carriers around like Sunday newspapers.

“I think that how physical I play surprises some guys,” he said. “One of the biggest things for me in the offseason is to stay in the weight room so I can be strong out there. I like to play really physical and be stronger than I appear.”

Anderson’s play caught the attention of several programs back in his sophomore season, including Arizona State, where he was committed to until earlier this year. But after considering several factors, Anderson decided to flip his commitment to Nebraska.

“Arizona State is great, but it just didn’t work out,” Anderson said. “The education is great (at Nebraska) and they have the most academic All-Americans in the NCAA; getting my degree is my top priority. I’ll be closer to my family, and they’ll get to come to all my games. Lincoln is a football town and an amazing place. It was an opportunity that was hard to pass up; I’m 100 percent Nebraska.”

Bo Pelini and staff can look forward to a heck of an athlete joining their team. Anderson has great vision and instincts, as well as soft hands and quick feet. He can afford to add a little more weight to his frame and will likely be used primarily at defensive back. He mentioned that he enjoys dishing out the hits, but he has a team-first attitude about his future role with the Cornhuskers.

“I’ll go wherever the team needs me,” Anderson said. “If they want me to deliver water, I will. If they want me to be a running back or receiver or corner; I’ll do whatever the team needs. But if I had my choice, I’d play defense.”

Anderson has kept busy since the end of last season to prepare for his final year as an Eagle. He plays for a 7-on-7 travel team coached by former NFL star Brian Dawkins. On May 4, he earned defensive back MVP honors at the Rivals Camp Series in Chicago. In addition to football, Anderson has also kept his academics in order. He’s currently on pace to graduate early so he enroll at Nebraska next spring.

“My big focus is to finish school strong and do well in all my studies,” Anderson said. “In the offseason, I’ll really be focused on eating, getting bigger, stronger and my technique work. I’ve been working with Brian Dawkins, an NFL great, to work on my technique and become an overall complete DB.”

With the help of a future NFL hall of famer, Anderson will certainly have a boost in honing his talent for the future. Whether it be offense, defense or special teams, Anderson has a shot at making an immediate impact with the Huskers.

 

Avery Anderson’s Junior Highlights: Highlights

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