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Two-sport standout Joseph Anderson commits to Iowa, adds to family's football tradition

Westminster standout will compete in football and track

Westminster Christian Academy (Missouri) football and track standout Joseph Anderson saw his recruitment take off in late January with five Division I offers in five days.

The 6-foot-5, 210-pound defensive end, who has one of the more unique skill sets and backgrounds of any prospect in the Class of 2024, continued to add to his growing offer list over the next few months until making his commitment on Monday.

Anderson will head to the University of Iowa, where he will play football and compete for the Hawkeyes’ track and field team.

The Westminster standout, who will compete in the triple jump and hurdles in addition to playing defensive end, picked Iowa over finalists Nebraska and Kansas because of his connection to the coaches and players he developed relationships with during his recruitment.

“Coach (Kelvin) Bell, Coach (Kirk) Ferentz, and the chance to play for Coach (Phil) Parker,” Anderson said when asked what made the Hawkeyes the right fit for him. “Also, all of the players that I got to know on my official visit, especially my host Deontae Craig. I liked the campus and the school has my intended major. I also really liked their commitment to allowing me to participate in track as well. But, overall, it came down to the people, and the ability to develop as a player and a person throughout my time at Iowa.”

Anderson, who racked up 52 total tackles and a team-high four sacks as a junior after recording 30 tackles and four sacks as a sophomore, has a rare combination of athleticism to go along with his impressive bloodlines.

His father, Bennie Anderson, had a six-year NFL career as an offensive lineman with the Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins from 2001-2006. He started 72 games in the NFL, with most of those coming in his first four seasons with the Ravens.

Anderson has two older brothers currently playing college football: Bennie is going into his third season as an offensive lineman at Yale and Joshua is entering his second season as an offensive lineman at Eastern Michigan.

Joseph’s father and older brothers are all 300-plus pound offensive linemen, while Joseph is a long and lean athlete who can run and jump with the best of the best in the Show-Me State.

Anderson competed in the Missouri Class 5 track and field championships this spring in the triple jump, long jump and 110 hurdles. He took second in the triple jump, fifth in the long jump and 11th in the hurdles.

As a sophomore, he helped Westminster win the Class 3 team championship after winning the triple jump and taking fourth in the long jump.

Westminster junior Joseph Anderson

Westminster's Joseph Anderson competing in the triple jump.

Anderson’s unique athletic profile made him an easy prospect to project into the future for college coaches.

His flurry of offers in January came from Lindenwood, Miami-Ohio, Northern Iowa, Ball State and Tennessee State, his father’s alma mater. Then came Illinois State, Southeast Missouri State, Bowling Green, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois throughout February.

He received an offer from Army in mid-March, then added offers from North Dakota State, Nebraska, Iowa, Vanderbilt, Toledo, Colgate, Iowa State, Wyoming, Kent State, Kansas, Missouri and Kansas State in April and May.

After visits to his three finalists – Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas – Anderson was ready to make his pledge on Monday.

He is ready to continue his family’s football legacy and add his own chapter with the Hawkeyes.

It is an opportunity that Anderson cherishes.

“It’s an honor and truly a blessing but all of us know – my brothers and I – it’s just the start,” he said. “We’ve got to stay focused and continue to work hard so that we can maximize our times and take advantage of the opportunity we’ve been blessed with at each of our schools.”