Profiles In Terpage – A Countdown To The Football Season: Justin Anderson


A recurring series where we will profile every player and coach on Maryland’s roster, counting down to kick-off against Miami. Thanks to OBNUG for the idea.

Today we profile a player who shares a name with…nevermind, that’s way too soon.

Justin Anderson, Junior, Defensive Tackle


Height: 6’5″

Weight: 265

Ratings: Three stars, #30 in South Carolina, #60 strongside defensive end by Rivals; three stars, #63 defensive end by Scout; three stars, #124 defensive end by ESPN

40-yard dash time: 4.9

High School Stats (senior season): 51 tackles (34 solo), two sacks, nine quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, one blocked kick

College Stats (through two years): 25 tackles (9 solo), six for a loss, two sacks, one fumble forced

High School: Blythewood High School (Blythewood, S.C.)

How’d He Get To College Park?

Like many other high school prospects, two things stood out when Justin Anderson came to visit Maryland – the atmosphere and the emphasis on academics. It’s kind of funny to look at how many prospects spoke of the academics when asked why they ended up choosing Maryland, considering the Terps lost three scholarships because they were below the APR limit, but I digress.

Anderson was a defensive end prospect coming out of Blythewood, South Carolina, and ended up choosing Maryland over a bevy of mid-major schools. He was also recruited by Clemson, Georgia Tech, and South Carolina, among others, but it doesn’t appear he received an offer from any of them. Former defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo brought him to College Park, and since then Anderson has been switching back and forth between the inside and outside.

Originally predicted as a defensive end, Anderson played the last six games of his true freshman season as a reserve defensive tackle, recording three tackles. Before his sophomore year, he moved back to the outside, and started all 13 games at the now-defunct anchor position (doesn’t have the same ring to it as ROCK, I guess).

Last year, Anderson was largely unnoticed on the outside. He recorded 22 tackles with only two sacks, and the coaches moved him back inside before the start of this season.

Anderson was third team all-state and was selected to the Shrine Bowl in 2008.

More after the jump.


Justin “Mr.” Anderson

Career Highlight:

Either one of those two sacks.

Career Lowlight:

Being one of the few guys on the team who is a returning starter on the bench (A.J. Francis, Trenton Hughes, Justin Lewis come to mind).

Arbitrary Top Five List:

Small forwards in the 2012 class (no JA):

1. Shabazz Muhammad

2. Alex Poythress

3. Jeremy Hollowell

4. Jerami Grant

5. Devonta Pollard

Dream season:

Anderson impresses, seeing time as the first defensive end off the bench and the second defensive tackle (after A.J. Francis), and equals his stats from last year.

Nightmare season:

Anderson comes in in certain situations, but is beat out by Isaiah Ross, Bradley Johnson and A.J. Francis for playing time off the bench on the line.

2011 prospectus:

Justin Anderson currently sits as the backup defensive tackle at one of Maryland’s two DT slots, behind redshirt freshman Andre Monroe. Anderson’s a weird sort of ‘tweener within the defensive line – at 6’5″, 265, he’s built like an end, but his playing style lends himself more to a tackle position. So Maryland has decided to stick him in the middle for now, probably Maryland’s strongest position in terms of depth, and it’ll be interesting to see how Todd Bradford rotates the four guys they have there – Anderson, Joe Vellano, A.J. Francis and Andre Monroe (apologies to Darius Kilgo, Maurice Hampton and Alex Walker, but things aren’t looking too hot for you this year).

Anderson had his opportunity last year as the starter at anchor, and unfortunately he didn’t make the most of it. Granted, Maryland’s defense wasn’t set up in a way for defensive ends to get big stats, but it’s not just the stats – he and fellow starter Drew Gloster just consistently did not impress off the line last year. It could be because their fellow linemates, Joe Vellano and A.J. Francis, were two of the best defensive linemen in the ACC last year, but a simpler and more reasonable explanation is that they just weren’t very good.

Anderson will have the chance to redeem himself this year, but he’s cpmpeting against some of the top talent Maryland has to offer. We’ll see if that brings out the best in him.

Up Next:

Our next player is from a county first inhabited by Paleo Indians.