Montana alum Colt Anderson was one of the very best safeties in the FCS over the course of the previous two seasons.
Now it appears the "Butte Missle" is doing his part to crack the Minnesota Vikings' regular season roster.
According to a story on Rob Lurtsema's Vikings Update Web site, Anderson is making a solid impression on the Vikings. It says:
"The Vikings are set with Madieu Williams and Tyrell Johnson slated as their starting safeties entering the season. But the backup spots will be hotly contested, with undrafted rookie free agent Colt Anderson very much in the mix."
But that's all it says.
To read the entire post you must sign up to the Vikings Update site. You can get a 7-day free trial, then pay a mere $99.95 for a full year.
Anybody want to pay a hundred bucks to read about Colt Anderson's progress? I didn't think so. Me neither.
But it's good to know Anderson is doing well. After recent news that Colin Dow was cut by the Bengals, it's nice to see another Griz player hanging on.
Go get 'em, Colt.
(UPDATE: 8/1/09, 7 p.m.): Kevin Brown, the author of the scounting report on Colt Anderson on the Vikings Update Web site, was kind enough to email me the remainder of his notes free of charge.
A big thanks to Kevin.
With that, here is the rest of the story:
#49, Colt Anderson, S
(5095, 194, 4.45-4.64) Montana
Notes: Born 10/25/85, in Butte, Montana. Parents are Mike and Michele Anderson. His uncles, Dave Manovich (1971-73) and Pat Sullivan (1976-79), both played football at Montana. He earned 8 letters at Butte High School - 3 each in football and basketball and 2 in track. He was team captain in football and basketball. The recipient of the "head hunter" award in football, Anderson was named the team MVP on offense and defense as a senior, when he was first team all-state pick at safety and an honorable mention choice at running back. He was a first team all-conference selection at safety and second team at running back his senior season. He was an honorable mention all-state pick as a junior. His high school football coach was former (1972-74) Grizzlies player Greg Salo. He finished his prep carrer with 310 tackles and 9 career interceptions. He also rushed for 850 career yards and 12 touchdowns.
College: Three-year starter. Redshirted in 2004. Had 7 tackles in five games, missing the second half of the season with an injury in 2005. Started all 14 games in 2006; recorded 92 tackles and was first team All Big Sky selection at strong safety and on special teams. He was co-recipient (with linebacker Kyle Ryan) of the team's Tony Barbour Award, which is given to the player(s) who best exemplifies outstanding practice habits and makes an unselfish contribution to the betterment of the Grizzly football team. In 2007, he posted 85 tackles, 4 interceptions, 9 pass breakups, 3 forced fumbles and 7 tackles-for-loss. Finished out his college career with a team-leading 129 tackles, 6.5 TFL, 1 sack, 3 interceptions (returned 80 yards), 6 PBU, 1 forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries in 2008. See highlights of Anderson in college on this YouTube clip. College major was business administration.
Pre-Draft: Measured 5094-5097 (5'9 ½" - 5' 9 7/8") and recorded a 1.53 10-yard dash, 2.62 20-yard dash, 4.53-4.56 40-yard dash, 36 ½-inch vertical jump, 10'3" broad jump, 4.19 short shuttle, 6.85 three-cone drill and 15 reps at 225 pounds.
Pro: Agreed to terms with the Vikings as an undrafted rookie free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft. He got $20,000 to sign with Minnesota after the draft, according to Scout.com's Ed Thompson, who said of the approximately 30 UDFA contracts he had uncovered across the NFL, Anderson is one of only two players to receive that kind of signing bonus money. Anderson said 10 teams had been in contact with him as the draft wound down.
Positives: Good all-around football player. Very smart, heady and instinctive. Reads and reacts quickly. Good hands and ballhawk skills. Solid open-field tackler. Physical hitter. Good upfield burst to the ball. Quick to provide run support. Takes on and eludes blocks. Should be a standout on special teams. Instinctive runner with the ball in his hands after an interception and can also return punts.
Negatives: Marginal size for safety at the NFL level. Does not possess good man-to-man coverage skills and is best if protected in more of a zone-coverage scheme. A little late getting to the deep third in coverage. Will overpursue or take poor angles at times.
Summary: Despite his size-speed limitations, he will be a difficult player to cut by the Vikings, especially if he makes an impact on special teams. Anderson is a good football player who could surprise some folks. See Anderson work out on the field in this draft video profile.
What they said:
"I just felt Minnesota was the best opportunity for me. They thought I could have an impact for them."
- Anderson after signing with the Vikings as an undrafted free agent
"I am really excited to get this great opportunity to play for the Minnesota Vikings. What I hope to accomplish this year is to earn a spot on the 53 man roster. I feel that I will benefit the team on all special teams. Hopefully, my hard work and dedication will pay off."
- Anderson to VU.com on his chances to contribute as a rookie
"Colt is a favorite of the coaching staff because he is a player who not only worked his way onto the field, but became a starter and a two-time first team All-Big Sky performer for us. He makes a lot of plays. He's a high-impact, go-get-it player on the field. He's a good tackler. He's into big collisions and creates turnovers by interceptions and by causing fumbles. He plays the run and pass equally well, and he seems to be all over the field."
- Montana head coach Bobby Hauck