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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Curtis Anderson, DB, Western Oregon University

Curtis Anderson Western Oregon
Curtis Anderson the long-armed defensive back from Western Oregon University recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams
  • Name: Curtis Anderson
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 205 lbs
  • Position: DB
  • College: Western Oregon University
  • Twitter: @CurtisxAnderson

Tell us about your university/college. What was your major/minor? How is campus life?

I attend Western Oregon university, where I am about to complete my degree in English writing, with a minor in communication studies. Western has been amazing, I never imagined all the amazing experiences and incredible relationships that playing football for this program would bring me. It’s a small school, but I came from a small highschool, so the school felt more than full of promise for me, and it only proved itself to be just that.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?

I think most of my teammates would agree that my best quality is my energy. I am a passionate person, my love for football, my love for my guys, my genuine love for competition, is evident to anyone I’ve ever played with, I feel like you see someone with that sort of zest for life, and you trust that they have the best interest of you, and the team at heart. Having the type of energy I’ve been blessed to carry myself with, picks the energy of others around me up as well, and that sort of excitement and eagerness is contagious.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?

I have been a captain on our team since I was a sophomore, and have started every game of my career. I play safety, but also played some corner depending on matchups in my first year, I also play on every special teams unit and currently serve as our kick returner. I feel safety is the best spot for me, I love the movement and range I am afforded at that position, and just as important I love the versatility a safety is allowed to play the game with.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?

The best player I’ve played against is probably Ja’quan Gardener, a running back from Humboldt State. He was built like Maurice Jones Drew, and an absolute animal for that team. They would run stretch plays on 3rd and long because they had so much faith in this dude and their run game. The man was an absolute workhorse and a super gifted athlete as well.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?

That’s tough, I’ve been fortunate to play with a few really amazing dudes, but if I had to choose one that truly impressed me in many ways, it would be Derek Panell. He was a cornerback here, I watched him work tirelessly on his craft, every bit of the ability he was naturally given he was constantly working to maximize. Every year while I was here, I watched that commitment pay off for him up until last year where he was one of the best cornerbacks in the country, at any level. He is definitely someone I learned a lot from along the way, and I will continue to learn from him.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.

My junior season presented me with more than enough struggle. I was excited and hopeful to go out and have a great year, and within the first couple of games I sustained a usage injury to my lower abdomen, it was limiting, and for the first time in my career I felt like I couldn’t do the things I wanted to do, because the explosiveness wasn’t there. The only way to improve it was to rest it, but we were on a journey to be the first team in our school’s history to win a conference championship, and I felt my leadership and the play I could bring to the table was worth what I was sacrificing on the field and for my teammates if I were to have sat for a few weeks. Now being fully healthy and having restrengthened that area of my body, I’m ready to do everything I wanted and more.. and also we won that league title so it paid off.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?

Basketball. I initially signed here to play football, and basketball, but after my sophomore season I realized that if I wanted to accomplish what I was hoping to accomplish on the football field, I would have to make the difficult decision of letting basketball go.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?

Being a captain of my team since I was a sophomore is definitely the accomplishment to date that I hold in the highest esteem. I’ll never forget the first game of my sophomore year when Ferg came up to me in the weightroom before kickoff and told me I had been voted a captain by my team. That recognition as a leader, the respect I felt from my peers in that moment, and every moment thereafter gave me the confidence to lead my way, and strengthened the belief I had in myself and what I was already doing.

Check out NFL Draft Diamonds 2021 Small School Rankings

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.

Strangely enough a play that I remember so much actually happened my redshirt year at practice, I was just a RS freshman on the scout team. I was guarding one of the best receivers in the country, a guy on our squad named Paul Revis. I would always push it on the scout team, irritating the offense trying to prep I’m sure, but it was just natural for me to be in compete mode constantly, especially against a guy like Paul. He ran an out, and I broke it up. I could tell it irritated our OC. So next play they act like they’re running the exact same play, but this time Paul runs an out and up. I saw it, stayed with, and intercepted it. Picking off that pass in a practice as a freshman has meant as much to me as any of my interceptions or breakups in the biggest games we’ve played. I cherish those early days, proving to myself I could compete with anybody the game showed me.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?

My favorite athletes are Steph Curry and Cristiano Ronaldo, my favorite team growing up was definitely the 49ers. In football, I try and take a lot from a lot of different guys, but if I had to choose one guy whose versatility, and overall usefulness I really respect and have tried to emulate a bit, it would be Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?

Drake is my favorite artist, and I have plenty of his stuff on the pregame playlist, but nobody gets me hyped to go get it done quite like Meek Mill.

What is your favorite comfort food?

This might be the hardest question yet, I eat a lot. I mean you can never go wrong with pizza, even the worst pizza you ever have is still ya know..pizza! Mendi’s Pizza is a solid local joint here in Oregon.

Do you have a favorite movie or actor?

My favorite movie is Good Will Hunting, my favorite actor is Leonardo DiCaprio.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?

I’m a gamer, so you can definitely find me on the sticks often, but I also love to cook, fish, and write.. those are all things I’m doing pretty often if I’m not playing football or another sport.

Who or what motivates you the most?

First, the inner drive I was blessed with. I’ve always wanted to be the best at every single thing I’ve done since I was a kid, everything was always about how do I do it better, how do I improve, from trying to catch the most fish at bible camp, to never losing a single game of scattergories (to this day). My belief that I can accomplish amazing things in any avenue of life is one of the greatest gifts God gave me.

My family also motivates me. We come from the most humble of beginnings. My Mother has pushed and sacrificed and given everything to raise two kids on her own. She took us out of the worst environment, and her faith and dedication to being the best parent she could is the reason she now has two college educated, good hearted kids, and an amazing husband. Despite all the odds being stacked against her she prevailed. One thought of that, and I’m ready to work.

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