Randall Anderson, a six-foot-four, 245-pound defensive lineman, is a new face on this Pirate team. He didn’t take the conventional route to land him at East Carolina, but he got here none the less.
“Coming out of high school I didn’t have any looks,” Anderson said. “I went to prep-school and half way through that still didn’t have any looks, but ECU came to my rescue and it’s a big weight off my shoulders to finally be here.”
Anderson graduated from William Penn High School in 2012 located in New Castle, Delaware. He then attended Fork Union Military Academy, not far from his alma mater, for one semester.
At FAMU, Anderson started for a defense that held opponents to just 10.1 points per game, including one shutout. However; Randall knows football here at ECU is a whole different level.
“It’s a lot faster,” Anderson said. “Coming out of William Penn, I was pretty much the top dog; at Fork Union it picked up a little bit faster, but here I have to elevate my level of play in order to catch up and stay competitive.”
Last week was the first time the Pirates have practiced in full pads since their loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in December 2012. This was Anderson’s first time in full pads for a Division-1 program and he understands it will take time to adjust.
“It’s a new system I have to learn and it’s different from what I’m used to,” Anderson said. “I’m picking up things quickly and want to help out the team in any way I can. I ate lunch with some of the guys the other day; they were helping me go over some plays and develop myself as a player in order to fit into this new situation.”
Anderson’s main task is trying to earn a spot on a defensive front with a lot of junior and senior leadership. Coming in as a freshman, it will take time for Anderson to earn respect and prove he will be an asset to this defensive unit.
“I’m really ambitious so I’m going to try to get into the starting rotation for the defense,” Anderson said. “If it doesn’t happen, then I’m happy to red-shirt this year in order to make a bigger impact for my team next year.”
Randall Anderson seemed ecstatic to be a part of this program, he spoke about “the family environment” that head coach Ruffin McNeill prides himself in maintaining. Anderson could potentially be a big-time playmaker on the defensive line for ECU in years to come, but only time will tell. For now, Anderson is working hard in practice to prove his worth and earn a starting position.