Honors & Awards
- Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll (Spring 2014)
Zaire Anderson is a key part of a deep and talented Husker linebacking corps that could be a strength for the 2014 Blackshirt defense. The 5-11, 220-pound Anderson emerged in the second half of the 2013 season as a consistent performer, helping Nebraska’s defense make steady improvements throughout Big Ten action.
Anderson has the versatility to play either of Nebraska’s outside linebacker spots. He is a physical defender against the run and continues to grow in pass coverage. Anderson was outstanding during spring practice, and is one of six returning letterwinners at linebacker, including five players with starting experience.
Anderson joined the Nebraska program after two seasons at Riverside (Calif.) Community College. He is on track to earn his degree in child, youth and family sciences this August.
Anderson played in 12 games, and started five of the season’s final seven contests. He was fifth on the team with 52 tackles, including 28 solo stops. Anderson made 35 of his tackles over the final seven games, and had five games in 2013 with six or more tackles. He had six tackles for loss on the year, including three sacks for 22 yards.
Anderson made three tackles each against Southern Miss and UCLA in non-conference play, then had a strong performance against South Dakota State. Anderson made 10 tackles against the Jackrabbits after entering the game with 10 career tackles. He also had his first career sack in the fourth quarter.
Anderson posted a career-high 11 tackles against Minnesota’s power running attack. He had a strong game at Michigan with six tackles, including five solo stops, and also had a career-high two sacks for 15 yards. He tied for the team lead with eight stops against Michigan State, including a tackle for loss. Anderson closed the regular season with six tackles against Iowa and made four tackles, including three solo stops, in the Gator Bowl.
2012 (Medical Hardship)
Anderson played in three games in 2012 before suffering a knee injury, and received a medical hardship. Anderson had four tackles before his injury.
Before Nebraska (Riverside CC)
Anderson starred at Riverside (Calif.) City College in 2010 and 2011. He helped Coach Tom Craft’s team to a 21-1 record in two years, including a perfect 11-0 record in 2011.
Anderson was a playmaker at linebacker, finishing 2011 with 95 tackles, including 19 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery. In his final game at Riverside, Anderson had 12 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and forced two fumbles in a 31-14 bowl victory over Saddleback Junior College. For his play in 2011, Anderson was named a JC Gridwire All-American and the National Division East Conference Defensive Player of the Year. In 2010, Anderson had 92 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks to earn second-team all-conference honors.
A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Anderson starred at Frankford High School where he was a first-team All-Philadelphia Public selection in his senior season. He was the first Pennsylvania native to sign with Nebraska since 1999. Anderson was regarded as the top junior college linebacker prospect and No. 13 overall JUCO player by Rivals.com, while JC Gridiron.com named him as one of its "Dirty Dozen" Outside Linebackers. Anderson only visited Nebraska but had numerous scholarship offers, including Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Kentucky.
Zaire is the son of Walter Anderson and Kim Hawkins, and he was born on Aug. 18, 1992. Anderson is majoring in child, youth and family sciences. He was named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll during the spring 2014 semester. He has volunteered his time with hospital visits, local community center outreach events, NFL Play 60 and at the UNL Children’s Center.