Sep 6, 2013
By Jon Cooper
Anderson Significant Facts:
Games Played: 40
Games Started: 12
First Game: 9/8/07 vs. Samford
First Start: 9/5/09 vs. Jacksonville State
First Tackle: 10/20/07, vs. Army
First Tackle for Loss: 10/11/08 vs. Gardner Webb
First Sack: 10/11/08 vs. Gardner Webb
Single-Game High Tackles: 5, at Duke, Nov. 14, 2009
Single Game High Tackles-For-Loss: 3.0, at Duke, Nov. 14, 2009
Single Game High Sacks: 2.0, at Duke, Nov. 14, 2009
If players on the Georgia Tech defense — players on offense, too, for that matter — are looking for an inspiring figure to use as a role model, they can do quite well by talking with, then following the lead of, second-year graduate assistant coach Ben Anderson.
Anderson, an Aiken, S.C., native, arrived on The Flats in 2006. He redshirted as a freshman, then played on special teams, barely seeing the field in ’07. He filled in on the defensive line as a sophomore in ’08, Paul Johnson’s first season as head coach, then earned his spot as a starter his final two seasons.
He became a big piece of the defensive puzzle for Georgia Tech when it won the ACC Championship in 2009, recording 15 tackles (12 solo), with five tackles for loss and a pair of sacks. But he’d injure his knee in the regular season finale against Georgia and would not play in the ACC Championship Game victory over Clemson.
Undeterred, he came back strong for his final season, changing positions, to nose guard in the 3-4, but remaining the same anchor of the defensive line.
Anderson graduated in 2010 with a degree in Business Management and where he enrolled in grad school at South Carolina. But he returned to Georgia Tech last year at the request of Paul Johnson, when a G.A. position opened up.
Sting Daily talked with Anderson about being back at his alma mater, being part of the team again and being part of a celebration of one.
FIRST DOWN: You’re one of several former Yellow Jackets who have returned to coach at Georgia Tech. What made you want to return?
BEN ANDERSON: I wanted to get into coaching in general. I was fortunate enough to have Coach Johnson call me and offer me the G.A. job. I had let him know that I was interested in G.A.’ing. I was looking at South Carolina also. Coach Johnson called me and told me it’s there if I want it, so I came back. It’s great that we’ve got guys coming back, and I think it’s really great for our guys who are still playing to see that. For me, I really like that I can provide tons of insight and advice to these young guys coming up through my experiences, just helping them out the best I can.
SECOND DOWN: What is your favorite memory of your playing days at Georgia Tech?
ANDERSON: I have to say when we played Virginia Tech in 2009. They were ranked No. 4 coming in. It was a night game, prime time on Thursday and we beat them (No. 19/20 Georgia Tech beat the Hokies, 28-23). The fans rushed the field and tore the goal posts down, the whole deal. That’s probably my favorite memory as a player.
THIRD DOWN: You also had a week when you were named ACC Lineman of the Week. Do you remember that game?
ANDERSON: That was 2009 after the Duke game (Nov. 14, a 49-10 Jackets road win). That was my best game by far. Things were just clicking for me that day and I had a blast with it.
FOURTH DOWN: Steven Sylvester likes to tell the story about that Duke game where you made a tackle in the backfield and wound up celebrating by yourself. What happened there?
ANDERSON: (laughs) Steve’s playing it out more than it is. The coach said that in the meeting. But I made a tackle for loss, and I jumped up celebrating. It was just that nobody was around me. It looked funny on film. Steve’s making it out like everybody dissed me. It wasn’t like that.