The Terminator 31: Explosion
The next installment in the popular movie franchise looks to be the best yet.
Sudden. Violent. Explosive.
Just a few words which are synonymous with freshman edge linebacker - "The Terminator" - Will Anderson.
Shortly following the conclusion of the 2019 season my attention was alerted to the edge-rushing situation in Tuscaloosa. Both Terrell Lewis and Anfernee Jennings were headed to the NFL, taking their 13 sacks off the edge with them, leaving just Chris Allen and Ben Davis, who combined for just 1.5.
Nick Saban took the necessary precautions with the 2020 recruiting class, bringing in three 5-star talents to fill the position. After all, the previous two efforts to reload the positions, Antonio Alfano and Eyabi Anoma, have struggled to find a concrete place in the college football world since leaving Tuscaloosa.
The odds were in the Crimson Tide's favor. Drew Sanders, Chris Braswell and Will Anderson joined the team in one of Saban's finest recruiting classes in his 13 years. The next question, naturally, was who would step up and challenge for a starting position.
Fast forward to mid-September and rumblings out of Fall camp revolved around the 6'4"-235lb Demon of Dutchtown - Will Anderson. The Monday prior to the Missouri contest, Anderson was named the starter opposite of Chris Allen.
We were introduced to "The Terminator."
"Coach Sark kind of came up with that name in film because he’s always around the ball just destroying people," quarterback Mac Jones said after the 38-19 win over the Tigers.
For those not up to speed on their Terminator lore, William Anderson is a character from the series who was a lieutenant of John Connor during the Future War.
Honestly, the name only helps with the reference, because Anderson is obviously a Terminator machine in the likeness of Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous characters.
No, Anderson didn't get a sack. Missouri's offensive scheme was centered around getting the ball out of quarterback Shawn Robinson's hands as quickly as possible on passing plays.
Yes, Anderson only had three tackles Saturday evening. Chalk that up to the option scheme and Anderson showing discipline on his assignments.
However, his biggest plays were when he didn't make a tackle.
One resulted in a fumble, the other disrupted what would have been an easy touchdown for the Tigers.
The bottom line remains, Anderson is ready for SEC football. The sacks will come against pass-happy teams and with time. The tools are blatantly obvious in his display.
His first step off of the line is terrifying to opposing tackles and quarterbacks. The unsatiated violence with which he arrives at his targets is terrifying to opposing ball carriers. The suddenness with which he arrives to the apex of a given play is terrifying to opposing offensive coordinators.
Terminators hunt and destroy, and so does Will Anderson.
Truth be told, this sequel installment isn't just a summer action flick.
It's a fall horror show.