Tide’s Will Anderson Named Defensive Rookie of the Year

Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) makes a tackle against Texas A&M at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, AL on Saturday, Oct 8, 2022.

Former Alabama Crimson Tide superstar pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. has been named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year at an awards ceremony on Thursday evening.

Anderson, who was the No. 3 overall pick to the Houston Texans in the 2023 NFL Draft, had 45 total tackles along with seven sacks and ten tackles for loss in a rookie campaign that saw Houston make the playoffs for the first time since 2019.

He is one of the best defensive players in Alabama history, ranking second in program history in sacks with 34.5 in just three years at Alabama trailing only the great Derrick Thomas.

Anderson was twice awarded the Bronko Nagurski Trophy during his time at Alabama, presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player.

His teammate and quarterback CJ Stroud, who was the No. 2 in the same draft class, was awarded with the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Previously, the Pro Football Writers of America named Anderson’s coach, another former Alabama superstar in DeMeco Ryans, the NFL’s Coach of the Year.

Anderson is going to continue to wreak havoc on the league as he progresses in a career that is just getting started.