The Stanford Cardinal have built a consistent winner in Palo Alto thanks in large part to their physical defensive presence. For 2014, they face the prospect or replacing a number of key contributors on that elite defense, like linebackers Trent Murhpy and Shayne Skov, defensive ends Ben Gardner and Josh Mauro and safety Ed Reynolds. There’s a noticeable void of leadership heading into the fall where Henry Anderson is ready to step in for next season.
With the amount of star power that has been on the Stanford defense over the years has forced Anderson to fly a bit under the radar during his career. But as a senior, Anderson will be central to the success of the Cardinal defense in 2014. As new faces grow into their starting roles on the defense this fall, Anderson will be the veteran presence on the defensive front.
After a strong sophomore season in 2012 where Anderson recorded 50 tackles and 4.5 sacks, he appeared ready to break out in 2013. However, an injury in the second game of the season sidelined Anderson for six games on the year. He was able to still contribute once he returned from injury, finishing the year with 20 tackles and 3.0 sacks, including 2.5 of those sacks coming after his return from injury.
With a full season to work and a 100 percent clean bill of health, Anderson is poised to become a household name on one of the nation’s toughest defenses. His success will be a huge part of the Cardinal’s Pac-12 title defense and how far Stanford goes in making a run to the college football playoff.