Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) walks off the field after losing to the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2022 CFP college football national championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson has already done more than enough to establish himself as one of the top NFL Draft prospects in the country. In fact, had he been eligible for the 2022 draft, there’s a good chance he would have been the No. 1 overall pick.

Anderson finished last season fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting after registering 101 total tackles and 17.5 sacks. If he didn’t play another college football game and instead opted out of the season to focus on the 2023 NFL Draft, he would likely be a high first-round pick.

But Anderson told The Athletic that he has no plans to skip the upcoming college football season.

“Oh no,” Anderson told The Athletic. “That’s not how I am. I love football too much. I can’t sit out a year and not play football.”

Opting out of the season would have helped protect Anderson’s health and draft stock, but new opportunities to profit from his name, image, and likeness have helped ease some of those concerns for a college football star.

“(It’s changed my life) a lot,” Anderson said. “It’s been able to help me and my family, and I feel like right now I put money aside for, of course, myself, but I really am doing NIL to help my family a lot. I don’t want my parents to have to be stressed and worried about how they’re going to get to my games, any of that stuff like that. So to be able to take care of all that and to help them out to make sure that they’re living well enough to balance everything out has been great.”

Anderson will now enter the college football season as one of the top defenders in all of college football as he looks to lead Alabama to another College Football Playoff berth.

[The Athletic]