NORMAN, Okla. — When brothers Rodney and Ryder Anderson were young children, many folks would mistake them for twins, despite the fact that Rodney is two years older.
“He was always the same height as me,” Rodney Anderson said in a Friday interview with SEC Country. “When I was in junior high, I shot past him for a couple years, but then he caught me real quick and then kept growing.
“Every time I see him, he looks bigger.”
Rodney Anderson is a redshirt freshman running back at Big 12 power Oklahoma, while his little brother — or maybe younger brother is the more accurate term — and 3-star defensive end Ryder committed to Arkansas on Thursday.
Ryder Anderson, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound prospect from Katy (Texas) High School, picked up his Razorbacks scholarship offer during an unofficial visit to Fayetteville earlier this week.
Throughout the recruiting process, Ryder has enjoyed having a valuable adviser in Rodney, who was a highly-recruited 4-star running back prospect in the class of 2015 with offers from the likes of Auburn, Baylor, Michigan State, Texas and Texas A&M.
“Honestly, as far as him getting offers, that’s all him,” Rodney said. “He’s been putting all the work in and doing all the extra things that he needs to do to get on other teams’ radars.
“I just come in when he gets an offer or when he’s thinking about a school. He’ll hit me up and ask what I think, and I just give him the best advice I can. It’s ultimately up to him.”
So after Ryder returned home from Fayetteville, he called Rodney and had nothing but great things to say about his visit. Still, Rodney was a little surprised when, just two days later, Ryder called on FaceTime to tell him about his commitment.
“He was impressed with all the physical things, like their stadium, their locker room, all that stuff, but he was really mostly impressed with how much they wanted him,” Rodney said. “He felt like he had really good chemistry with the coaches.
“At the end of the day, I was a little surprised by the commitment but I could see why he did it.”
That the Anderson brothers will soon both be NCAA Division I football players shouldn’t come as a huge surprise; their father played college basketball, their mother was a tennis and volleyball standout and their uncle Mark was an Alabama defensive end who played seven years in the NFL.
Rodney was slated to play some as a true freshman last season at Oklahoma before suffering a season-ending leg injury during the Sooners’ second game at Tennessee. He said that he leaned on Ryder for support through his recovery.
“As much as he leans on me, I can lean on him, too,” Rodney said. “Just because he’s younger doesn’t mean I can’t go to him. … He’s years beyond what his age says.
“I’m just so proud of him. Everything he’s got, he’s earned himself. And now he’s gonna be playing in the SEC.”