TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — No one is safe from Ryan Anderson’s jokes.
A fifth-year senior, Anderson has developed a reputation as an intimidating player on the field and a funny person off of it.
“Ryan, sometimes when he talks to you he reminds you of your older uncles,” said Alabama defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson. “He just sounds like he’s got an old soul and it’s just funny.”
Alabama hosts Kent State on Saturday at Noon ET on the SEC Network. Alabama opened as a 43-point favorite, according to VegasInsider.com, so there aren’t a ton of intriguing story lines surrounding the game.
During his interview session on Monday, Anderson kept things light and cracked jokes on teammates.
Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen intercepted a pass (the play was later ruled a forced fumble and a fumble recover) and returned it 75 yards for the touchdown. Anderson was on the sideline during the play.
“I was excited, but I was tired too, watching him run,” Anderson said, laughing. “It took him so long to score.”
Alabama had yet to review the film as a team at the time of Anderson’s interview, but Anderson had seen enough to make fun of teammates. At least three Alabama players — Laurence “Hootie” Jones, Christian Miller and Dalvin Tomlinson — ran down the field with Allen on the return.
None of them turned around to block as Ole Miss receiver Quincy Adeboyejo ran up behind Allen.
“Yeah me and Hootie and Eddie (Jackson) went to movies last night, and Eddie was getting on to Hootie about that, man,” Anderson said. “We were messing with Tim (Williams) too. Tim was punching something in the air. I don’t know what he was doing. He was running down the field with his hands up.”
— BamaVine (@BamaVine) September 17, 2016
Anderson was the closest witness to what Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster did to Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly. Kelly scrambled out of the pocket in an attempt to pick up a first down. When Kelly realized he wasn’t going to make the yardage, he started running toward the sideline.
That’s when Foster violently introduced himself to Kelly.
“He calls his new body a Ferrari. He says last year was a Tahoe. He plays like it, man. I was watching the film, and every play, he’s just flying,” Anderson said of Foster. “Like the play he hit Chad Kelly, I stopped and my jaw dropped like, ‘Dang.’ I was scared. I was scared for him. I don’t know where he came from. I was running and it was ‘bop!’ I was like what was that? I should have known it was 10.”
Anderson’s sack and forced fumble in the third quarter led to Alabama tying the game on Saturday. Through three games, Anderson has 10 tackles, 3.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble to continue his stellar play that ended the 2015 season. In the final six games of 2015, Anderson recorded 8 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. Eight of his career 13 sacks and 10 of his 23.5 career tackles for loss have come in the last nine games played. During his career, Anderson has accumulated 23.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks.
Anderson’s sack on Kelly was especially rewarding. Alabama had just two sacks on the day.
“Oh man, I had missed like two or three times by then, so that was a big relief for me,” Anderson said. “I want to sack every quarterback I play this year at least once. I had missed him like three times, so it was good to finally get him down.”