Former Bastrop High standout Darren Anderson has verbally committed to Tennessee-Martin and expects to sign “probably sometime this week.”
Anderson spent the past two years at Copiah-Lincoln Community College where he helped the Wolfpack to their first Mississippi Association of Junior & Community Colleges state championship since 1985 last season.
Anderson was a two-year starter at wide receiver and backup quarterback for the Wolfpack.
As a sophomore, he earned second-team All-Conference recognition after catching 37 passes for 614 yards and five touchdowns.
Anderson started every game as a freshman, including one game at quarterback. Filling in for the injured starter, Anderson directed Co-Lin to a season-ending victory.
Playing in one of the nation's premier junior college conferences, Anderson says he is glad he took the juco route.
“It's a tough league. Basically, you're playing against people who are going to D-1 colleges,” Anderson said. “I'm pretty satisfied with the way things turned out for me. I'm going to a bigger school, so everything worked out.”
Over the past couple of weeks, Anderson has been working out at Bastrop High and watching the Rams' spring football practices. In addition to UT-Martin, Anderson said he also received offers from West Alabama, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee.
“They have a good program,” Anderson said of UT-Martin. “Two of my teammates from Co-Lin, (linebackers) Alonzo Lewis from Vacherie, La., and Brian Isaac from Natchez, are going there, too.”
A member of the Ohio Valley Conference, the Skyhawks went 8-3 and were ranked No. 30 in both major Football Conference Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) national polls.
Before reporting to UT-Martin, Anderson says he is one class away from obtaining his associate's degree from Co-Lin.
“I can take the class online, so I hope to be (at UT-Martin) by the end of June,” said Anderson, who is majoring in business management. “I should be able to start practicing with the team no later than July.”
Anderson is adamant that he will be with the Skyhawks in time for fall practice.
“I will be on the field next year,” Anderson said.
A two-year starting quarterback at Bastrop, Anderson led Class 4A in passing yardage (3,356) as a senior in 2010. Completing 195-of-300 attempts, Anderson threw 43 touchdowns passes with only seven interceptions in helping the Rams to a Class 4A quarterfinal berth.
Except for the emergency start as a sophomore and a couple of spot appearances last season, Anderson spent the majority of his junior college time at wide receiver. Though he misses taking snaps, Anderson says he is now a full-fledged wide receiver.
Page 2 of 2 - “I miss playing quarterback. You get the ball in your hands every play at quarterback,” Anderson said. “At receiver, it's iffy. But I'm straight receiver now. It just worked out that way.”
Anderson also played basketball for the Rams, averaging 14 points and eight rebounds as a senior.