On Thursday, I had the pleasure of speaking with new Saints LB Nick Anderson. Anderson signed with the Saints as a UDFA. Anderson is a former two-star prospect who played for four years at Tulane University.
JC: My first question would have to be, what was it like to get the call or text that the New Orleans Saints offered you a contract?
NA: Overall, it was a surreal moment because that’s where I wanted to be. I stated many different times in the pre-draft process that I would love to stay here and play for the New Orleans Saints. I just really fell in love with the city of New Orleans. I really called this my home for the past four years. It just felt like the best situation for me to prosper and start my NFL career.
JC: That brings me to my next question. Originally being from Vicksburg, Mississippi, what attracted you to Tulane?
NA: Overall in my recruiting process, it came down to Ole Miss, Tulane, and the University of Southern Alabama. Tulane just really had a family atmosphere. I could tell that the coaches were genuine, and at a lot of different places you go during the recruiting process, everything seems scripted. Tulane didn’t feel that way. I could tell it was a school on the rise. Academics were also a very important factor in that decision. So, it really was a no-brainer after I came on my visit.
JC: Speaking of academics, I read a story that your mom held you out of football because you got a B+. Is this story true, and what type of role did your mom play in your life?
NA: Overall, my mom has been my rock. She’s a single parent, and she’s been my motivation. Just the things she’s able to get done with no excuses. She always stayed on me about academics. She knew that she wouldn’t be in the position to pay for me to go to school, so she told me at a very young age that I would have to make all A’s and get scholarships. So, she stayed on me all throughout elementary, middle school, and high school, and she did not allow any B’s in her house. So, my freshman year of high school, I had a Spanish class, and I was slacking a little bit. I got an 87 in the class. I went to the teacher and asked what I could do to get an A. I had never gotten a B before I was horrified. The teacher actually let me make up a couple of assignments to raise it up. After that, a couple of weeks passed, and my mom had been monitoring my grades, so she already knew I had a B. So, she went to the school and met with the teacher and told her to change the grade back. She told her that was the grade he earned, and that’s the grade he was gonna receive. Then she took me off the football team. At the time, I was devastated, but my mom taught me two things through that experience. The first thing is that don’t let anybody give you anything. Whatever you earn, you take with you, and you keep on pushing forward. She also taught me the importance of academics. I graduated number three in my class in high school and graduated cum laude at Tulane.
JC: I saw the picture of you with the Sam Mills jersey on Twitter. Were you a Saints fan growing up?
NA: I watched the Saints a lot as a kid. I was actually a Packers fan growing up, but I loved coming to Saints games as a kid. A lot of my family are big Saints fans. The Saints were my local team. I was introduced to Sam Mills by my DBs coach J. J. McCleskey. He played for the Saints and was teammates with Mills. He told me that I reminded him of Sam himself. I started doing my research on Mills when I first got to Tulane. I really admired the girt, the way he played the game, his character, and the things he stood for. It really gave me hope and motivated me to chase my NFL dreams being an undersized linebacker myself. I wanted to commemorate him during my pre-draft process and what he did for undersized people playing in the NFL.
JC: What current or past NFL player do you think you resemble?
NA: I really look up to Devin White a lot. I love the way he plays the game. His quickness, intelligence, and instincts, and swagger, he plays at the linebacker position.
JC: What’s it like training to go to the NFL? (Getting ready for pro days, interviews, and other various things)
NA: Overall, my pre-draft process was pretty simplistic. The most I had to do was meet with teams on Zoom. Closer to my pro day, I met with some teams in person, and they tried to see how football smart I was. That process was very smooth because Tulane did a good job of really growing my football IQ. It was great because I didn’t have to deal with the pressure of the Senior Bowl and Combine. A lot of people looked at it like I missed those opportunities. I look at it like you go through a lot going through the combine and having different people try and find ways to count you out. I didn’t receive those opportunities, but I was grateful for the one I did receive, which was the pro day. I’d say the most stressful part is draft day itself. Simply because you really don’t know anything. A team can really like you and not get you, but it isn’t because they’re liars or honest to their word. It’s just the reality of how the draft and draft boards go. So, I would say draft weekend was the most stressful, but I was in the best position, and God worked everything out.
JC: What do you want Saints fans to know about you?
NA: I want Saints fans to know I’m determined to win. I’m determined to do whatever needs to be done. I’m a very loyal player, and I want to bring back that legacy of just dominating the NFC South, going to the playoffs, and fighting toward getting a championship. I believe that it can be done here with the Saints. I feel like the standard is the Super Bowl. They’re gonna get a guy that comes into work every day and puts the team on his back. I’m coming off a championship team. I don’t like losing, and I’m ready to win and keep winning.
Thank you again to Nick for speaking with me. I had an absolute blast doing this, and I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sundays!
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