It’s no secret that the Nebraska Cornhuskers have always had a certain affinity for excellent defenses. That “Blackshirts” nickname stuck for a reason, after all.
Unfortunately, like just about everything else in college football, putting out quality defenses is a cyclical occurrence. Just two years ago, in 2009, Nebraska boasted the 7th ranked defense in the nation. A year later, in 2010, it fell slightly to become the 11th ranked defense in the nation.
This year, in 2011, the Huskers are the 57th ranked defense in the nation. Needless to say, if the school keeps plummeting like this – all of that historical reverence that fans have always had for the way that Nebraska approached defense will fade away and become a distant memory.
So, what can the program do to ensure that the defense doesn’t continue on its current trajectory but, rather, improves in the coming years? It can go after and, ultimately land, star linebackers like Zaire Anderson.
This past week Nebraska announced that Anderson, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound stud out of Riverside Community College received an offer to link up with the Huskers and help them bolster their defensive line-up. The highly-regarded Anderson is also being sought after by UCLA, Syracuse, West Virginia and a number of other programs.
Nevertheless, the Huskers top his list.
"I would love to be a part of the Nebraska program and the tradition," Anderson said. "Nebraska is definitely tops on my list right now. I just think it's a great program, and they put a lot of players in the NFL. I haven't set up my visit yet, but it will likely be after the season since I have already had my bye week."
In 10 games at the JUCO level last season, Anderson managed to rack up 81 tackles and eight sacks. This year, he’s put together a solid campaign with 48 tackles and 1 ½ sacks. Because he isn’t going to complete his junior college classes until this coming February, it’s unknown whether Nebraska would get him for three years of eligibility or two.
What is certain, however, is that Anderson would be a much-appreciated addition to a defense that hasn’t exactly flourished as of late.
Despite the fact that the Huskers came into the year boasting three preseason All-Americans on the defensive end in Jared Crick, Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard, injuries quickly changed everything. Crick recently suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle and Dennard, after returning from an injury of his own, has seen his effectiveness limited by defenses who take advantage of Nebraska’s lesser talented pieces in the secondary.
Because Nebraska’s current defense hasn’t given regular followers of the program much to smile about, everyone should check out the video below of what Anderson will bring to the table.
Needless to say, the kid’s a monster.