The 90 Illini #77: Jordan Anderson
You have currently viewed 1 story this month.
IlliniBoard now offers two free stories per month, for more please subscribe.
That's a picture (zoomed-in with my camera from pretty far away) of Jordan Anderson, Chase Brown, and Aidan Laughery during running back drills this spring. Look at the height of Anderson's shoulder pads vs. the height of Brown (or Laughery's) shoulder pads. It feels like he's legitimately 6 inches taller than everyone in the running back room.
OK, yes, Josh McCray is 6'-1". But Anderson looks out of place at practice. As I said this spring, it looks like there's a tight end practicing with the running backs. It's like... actually I know exactly what it's like.
You know that scene in Elf where Buddy is looking at something at the department store (in his elf costume, which isn't really a costume, it's his clothing) and the Gimbel's manager sees him and is all "what are you doing down here? You're not supposed to leave Santa's Workshop upstairs" and then Buddy just goes along with him?
I think that's what happened with Jordan Anderson. He showed up at practice one day wearing a 25 jersey and someone said "what are you doing over here with the defensive ends? You're not supposed to leave the running back room" and so Jordan just went along with it.
WAIT, no, that's not it. It's when Buddy doesn't realize he's an elf. He's in class reciting "the best way to spread Christmas cheer is signing loud for all to hear" and he barely fits in the desk and he's bad at making Etch-A-Sketches but nobody wants to tell him he's not a running back. Jordan Anderson is... Jordan Anderson is the only baritone in the elf choir.
77. Jordan Anderson
Uniform number: 25
Year in school: True Freshman (5 years to play 4)
Height: 6'-4" -- Weight: 240 lbs.
Hometown: Naperville, Illinois
High School: Joliet Catholic HS
Five best offers: Toledo, Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan, Miami (OH)
Tom Cruise rating:
I'm having some fun there. Jordan Anderson is a running back. Joliet Catholic won the state title because Jordan Anderson is a running back. In the state title game he had 306 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns, and when you're a successful running back against high-end competition in Illinois then you can likely play running back in the Big Ten.
Remember, I'm the guy who said there was "no way" Josh McCray would play running back in the Big Ten at 255 lbs. And then Josh McCray had 549 rushing yards as a true freshman. So take all of this with a grain of salt. Jordan Anderson is likely a running back. (He also has great hands and I still want him at tight end.)
The reason he's so far down this list: the running back room is fairly full. And not only is it full, there's a "3rd & 2 bruiser" tailback in front of him (Josh McCray). So while I'd normally say "there's a chance he could get on the field as a short yardage tailback", there's already a short yardage tailback with experience.
So the question for Anderson is if he can climb up to, say, 4th on the tailback depth chart. Chase Brown is 1 and Josh McCray is 2. That's set in stone. That means it's Reggie Love, Chase Hayden, Nick Fedanzo, Aidan Laughery, and Jordan Anderson fighting for those third tailback and fourth tailback snaps. I have Love third and Hayden fourth, and Love is a third-year back while Hayden is a sixth-year back, so to me that sends Jordan Anderson in the direction of a redshirt year. Eat, lift, eat, lift, and get ready to play defensive end in 2023.
Sorry, running back.