Offseason spotlight: Stanford


We're taking a look at a player from each Pac-12 team who could step into the spotlight in 2014.

Spotlight: OLB Kevin Anderson, R-Jr., 6-foot-4, 244 pounds

2013 summary: Anderson had 26 tackles, including 6.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks, and one interception.

The skinny: Anderson, a redshirt junior, has big shoes to fill -- those that belonged to 6-foot-6 Trent Murphy, who led the nation with 15 sacks last year. When you toss in other big losses to the Cardinal's defensive front seven -- LB Shayne Skov, DE Ben Gardner, DE Josh Mauro, LB Jarek Lancaster -- it's clear that guys like Anderson are going to have to step up this fall if the defense is not going to take a step back after a dominant two-year run. The good news is Anderson is hardly green. He's been given significant playing time the past two seasons as Murphy's backup. He played an important role last season and was productive when he got on the field. He had 1.5 sacks against Oregon State, earning co-Defensive Player of the Game, and had a 40-yard interception return for a TD in the Rose Bowl against Michigan State. But will he be able to play the position the way Murphy did, effective against the run and pass? Can he consistently bring edge pressure, so the Cardinal aren't forced to take chances with blitzes? It will be worth watching to see what Anderson weighs in August. He probably could add 10-plus pounds to his frame without losing any quickness.

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