When Jamaal Anderson was a senior at Parkview High School in Little Rock, Ark., he had dreams of playing for a big-time college program. After all, he was a two-way player with excellent size and high school accolades.
The University of Colorado was interested for two weeks, but decided to pull the scholarship offer off the table for other prospects. Anderson was left with small school offers from Central Arkansas, Ouachita Baptist and University of Arkansas Pine-Bluff. His only other option was to walk-on for Houston Nutt at the University of Arkansas.
He chose to walk-on for Nutt, and after just three years, the young man who wasn’t good enough for a major college program is now projected to start for the Atlanta Falcons as a rookie.
Anderson started all 14 games as a junior for the Razorbacks in ‘06, amassing 65 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and one forced-fumble. He was named First-Team All-SEC and decided to forego his senior year to enter the NFL Draft. He was selected eighth overall by the Falcons.
Anderson had a tough rookie year, finishing with zero sacks. However, he did start every game and was very effective defending the run.
Information sites on Anderson
Atlanta Falcons Official Player Bio: Jamaal Anderson
Career notes, photos and stats on Jamaal Anderson can be found at the Official Website of the Atlanta Falcons.
NFL.com Player Profile: Jamaal Anderson
Find a small profile, game logs, stats and merchandise on Jamaal Anderson at NFL.com.
Rotoworld Player Page: Jamaal Anderson
Rotoworld.com has some of the best fantasy reporting and advice on the web. Click on the “Previous News” tab to get current and past information on Jamaal Anderson for your fantasy football team.
Jamaal Anderson Wikipedia Page
Find a comprehensive background on Jamaal Anderson's life and football career at Wikipedia.com.
Latest on Anderson:
While he was stout against the run and started every game in his first year, Anderson really struggled generating pressure on the quarterback. He finished his rookie year with 30 tackles and a forced fumble, but zero sacks.
Digging up Jamaal Anderson on the web
Anderson aware of expectations
Replacing a former Pro Bowler like Patrick Kerney can be a huge task. ESPN’s Len Pasquarelli takes a closer look at the impact rookie Jamaal Anderson might have on the Falcons defense in ’07.
Anderson inspired by family’s success
Read about Anderson’s amazing family – including his father, who was the first deaf African American to earn a doctorate – and the inspiration he gets from them at the AJC.com.
It’s all tears, cheers for Jamaal Anderson goes eighth to Falcons
Jamaal Anderson has only cried twice in the past three years. The first one was after Arkansas’s 22-20 loss to Texas in ’04 while the second one was in celebration of being taking eighth overall by the Falcons in the ’07 NFL Draft.
Falcons flying high on the hogs
Jamaal Anderson never expected the phone to ring and Falcons’ head coach Bobby Petrino on the other end, but when it happened, he was overjoyed.
On being selected eighth overall by the Falcons in 2007:
"That was a surprise for me. I asked (Falcons owner Arthur) Blank and Coach Petrino several times, 'Are you really picking me?' I had to make sure it was really happening."
On what is expected of an NFL defensive end:
"Sacking the quarterback, that's what they pay you for at this level. Stopping the run, that's kind of a bonus, really. I mean, you want to do both, definitely. But getting a sack ... that's a special play."
On his expectations of himself:
"I was raised the right way. I know what's important. And I know how important it is for me to be good here. I don't want to let the Falcons down. I don't want to let my family down. Most of all, I don't want to let me down. And I won't."