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Alabama connection means a lot for Will Anderson Jr. and Texans


It's fitting Will Anderson Jr. is a Texan.

Fitting because the Alabama defensive lineman loved the Top-30 visit he took to Houston just after the Combine.

Fitting because he played at such a high level in college and would be a great addition to any NFL defense.

Fitting because two Crimson Tide teammates—linebacker Christian Harris and receiver John Metchie, III—are now Texans.

And fitting because, like his new Head Coach DeMeco Ryans, Anderson was an SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Despite all those 'fits', Anderson was nonetheless surprised when the Texans boldly traded up to draft him third overall Thursday evening in Kansas City.

"Man, I was very stunned," Anderson told Texans TV. "The Texans were one of the visits I loved the most. The people in the building were great. I got a couple of teammates on there. The facilities were nice. Just everything about the Texans was perfect."

Only Derrick Thomas, who was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009, has more sacks and tackles for loss in Alabama history than Anderson. The pride Anderson has in his college roots, and the connection 'Bama has with the franchise, is important to the new Texan. He's excited to get to play again with Harris, a teammate of his in 2020 and 2021.

"It's everything," Anderson said. "We have a standard at Alabama. Just to go in there and be with him again, I know what type of teammate he is, brother he is, I know he's going to help me along the way. I'm super-excited."

Ryans, who was a standout linebacker at Alabama from 2002 through 2005, is someone Anderson admires.

"DeMeco Ryans, he does a great job with the defense," Anderson said. "At San Francisco, they got after people on that side of the ball. I know that it's going to be really special and I'm just happy to be a part of that."

Ryans explained his expectations of Anderson during a Friday afternoon press conference at NRG Stadium.

"He's going to be a defensive end in our style," Ryans said. "Attacking and getting up the field. Will has been a productive player at Alabama for a long time."

Ryans and the Texans purposefully haven't detailed any specific goals for Anderson or any rookie, instead just emphasizing that each player be the best version of themselves as possible.

The second and third rounds of the NFL Draft begin on Friday night in Kansas City.

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