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Bellarmine QB Anderson outsmarts, outthinks opponents

Thomas Anderson throws at the National Preps Collegiate Showcase on Nov. 21, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Thomas Anderson throws at the National Preps Collegiate Showcase on Nov. 21, 2020. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

Everything about Thomas Anderson’s approach is methodical and well thought out.

Anderson, a senior quarterback at Bellarmine, won’t just beat you with his arm. He won’t just beat you with his size, which he’s currently listed at 6-4 and 185 lb. He won’t just beat you with his talent.

It’s his brain that will outsmart you, outmaneuver you and simply beat you in anything, particularly on the football field as the leader of the offense. 

“I love the strategic part of the game,” Anderson said. “I just want to get out there so I can show it. I’m more of a get out there and look at the formation. Look at the defense and make a read based on that. I’m less of an explosive, run you over eight times to score a touchdown. I’m more outthink you, so I really want to get out there and outthink some opponents.”

But quarterback was not always Anderson’s first position, even though it’s now one he’s excelled at while developing into a college recruit.

He’s played nearly every position. Back before he was at Bellarmine, Anderson was on the line, with coaches noticing his size and wanting him paving the way with the big boys up front.

That’s when Anderson learned what he deemed “the whole deal about football.” And, not long after, Anderson was a receiver in the run-heavy scheme Bellarmine used to employ, becoming the red zone target the offense coveted, along with playing linebacker.

Quarterback eventually reached the equation when he moved up to the junior varsity squad a year later, and despite the changing of positions and the highs and the lows, Anderson is grateful to immerse himself in the Bellarmine tradition and see how it all worked out.

“I’ve learned what I am, and when I truly knew I was college ready I looked at my size,” Anderson said. “I was like, ‘Hey, I’m actually up size wise with these guys at the next level. Hey, I can throw the ball 55 yards down the field, 55-60.’” 

“I remember JV year I was just sitting back in the middle of the field throwing the ball like 50 yards. ‘I’m JV, I can do that. That’s the arm talent that can get me there. I have the size. Just a matter of getting looks and getting out there on social media and the applying myself.’”

That dedication was something Anderson always had in his blood, and it’s also something he learned from one of his class of 2021 teammates in tight end Griffin Waiss, who recently committed to the University of Washington as a preferred walk-on.

Waiss committed himself to the entire process. Not only was he working hard on the field and as a player, but he was doing everything else – marketing himself, putting himself out there on social media and reaching out to college coaches.

It all worked out, as the social media part is something this new Bellarmine varsity staff has heavily pushed around the program since taking over.

“What motivates me probably the biggest specifically is my buddy Griffin, a good friend of mine, and watching him go through his whole prospect thing and things he’s gone through really motivates me,” Anderson said. “My teammates watching them, what they do. Also seeing what I can at the next level and thinking about that and thinking about the changes I can make and thinking about what I can be. This coaching staff is a big one.”

Anderson’s commitment continues boosting him as a student-athlete at Bellarmine, as colleges are taking notice of his talents and inquiring about adding him to their respective schools.

Puget Sound, a Division III school, offered Anderson a month ago. Chapman is another option, a school where numerous players from the West Catholic Athletic League attend now and a school where Anderson applied to.

Other schools showing interest or following Anderson on social media, according to Bellarmine assistant Brennan Ronald, include MIT, St. Lawrence University, Claremont Mudd-Scripps, Lincoln University, University of Chicago, Stetson University, Lehigh, USD, Redlands.

“I have options,” Anderson said. “It’s just a matter of choosing what’s best for me, education wise and athletic wise going from there. We’ll see what I got, but hoping for the best and am going to make the best decision possible.”

Wherever Anderson attends, he wants to major in Business, specifically in Business Administration or Business Economics – something his family fields a strong background in.

“I love the whole market for business and I love how business works,” Anderson said. “My father was an entrepreneur, created his own company and was successful with it, and so that was a big drive for me watching him do that and taking those risks.”

First, before Anderson arrives at whichever college he chooses, he wants special things in his senior campaign Bellarmine.

Which all stems around winning.

“Goals for myself I’ll say I’ll jump away from the season and I’ll say college, but for the season get out there, create an environment for success and win,” Anderson said. “Win. If we get out there, win. Dominate the field and own the field. Own the line of scrimmage and win. Be able to drive the ball down the field and have confidence and keep that confidence and not give up. Don’t ever give up.”

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