2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile: DE Trevor Anderson #58

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2009 Spartan Nation Football Profile:Â DE Trevor Anderson #58

Height: 6’2”

Weight:Â 257

2009 Eligibility:Â Senior

EXP: 1 MSU Letter

Status:Â Starting DE


Strengths: When you talk about the strengths of Trevor Anderson you immediately have to start with the space 12 inches south of his brain: His Heart. That is how Anderson lives every area of his life. He is one of the most passionate and genuine people that you have ever met.


He is a fine young man and a superb representative of the Spartans. Is he perfect? Well of course not and neither are any of us. He is however fiercely loyal, determined and he works hard. Anderson tried to transfer with Mark Dantonio and his staff when they came to MSU and he was told to go back and try to make Cincinnati work. Dantonio felt he owed loyalty to the school that gave him his first shot and didn’t want to steer any players that he had built up superb relationships with (as he has here) on to his new school.


Anderson went back, but was unhappy and made the switch. Now in the interest of full disclosure there was a lot of trouble with the transfer and I confess that I had a conversation with Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly about it. I won’t get into the details, but I will say that Coach and Trevor could have handled the situation better, but in the end, after paying for some of his schooling, Anderson is now on MSU scholarship.


There was some expectation that Anderson would come in and be dominant immediately. I said at the time that you couldn’t go without competitive action for one year (he did practice, but no games) and just step in. That is why at times you can see true freshman almost do more than red shirts immediately because there is that adjustment to game speed.


After Anderson got his sea legs, he was a defensive brut. He dogged QBs and running backs and lineman alike. He loves to talk and there is a collective smile on the media when he is in the room. Anderson doesn’t have any clue on how to give non-answer answers. He is a one-man quote machine precisely because he doesn’t hold back.


Let’s head to the Capital One Bowl for some examples of later in the year when he had his sea legs, and how he showed what we can expect from day one this year. He had a play that he was in the backfield before his offensive lineman could even get out of his stance. The play went away from Anderson and he chased down receiver (on the opposite side of the field) for the downfield tackle. He has the bulk of a DE, but the pursuit of a LB.


Another play from that game, in the 3rd quarter, Trevor sidestepped a much slower OL and crushed Stafford on a blitz. I mean he crushed him and drove him into the ground. I heard Coach Gill once say in practice, “You are not trying to bring them down. You are trying to drill a hole to China.” Anderson is a clean player, but he is tough. Conversely, I have seen Anderson get thumped by an opponent and he is the first to tap their butt in a sign of respect. He loves football and he respects it when he is punishing people and when people punish him. Anderson is another example of the “Mark Dantonio” type player that plays all out and with respect for the game. Anderson is back in the groove and should be up for some great accolades when the end of the season comes.


Weakness: How many times have we heard our fathers when we were young or coaches say that, “Your greatest strength can also be your greatest weakness?” That is where Anderson struggles sometimes. 


He expects so much of himself and plays at such a high level of emotion that he can struggle with letting his emotion get either too high or not controlled. Mark Dantonio is fond of saying, “We ask them to play with a controlled rage.” Anderson (especially after the offense has made a big play or had some success) gets his emotion too high occasionally and then it keeps him from digging in and doing his job on the next play. Again this is not often, but he has to learn that as soon as a play is over he can’t let the last plays dictate the future.


Final Analysis: Anderson is a super young man and a fantastic football player. What makes him even more special is the way he practices the game. In fact, when he was sitting out a year as a transfer, Coach Gill alluded to that when he said, “Trevor could really help this season on the field, but where maybe some of you all don’t see it is in practice. He knows what we want and how we do it and the guys see his motor in practice.” 


Anderson, at times by action, has been another teacher to this team. He has had a huge influence and he is a key part of the transformation that is Spartan football simply by his all out passion. Ten years from now many fans may not remember Trevor, but he will have been one of the key masons laying the bricks of the foundation for what this staff is going to do.


2009 is going to be a very big season for Anderson, and along with Greg Jones and Danny Fortener I look for the three of them to lead what will be the best defense in many years at MSU.