#26 Damein Anderson, cornerback, 5-foot-11, 195-pounds
How did he get here? The Hazlehurst, Miss., native was considered one the top 50 cornerbacks in the country and one the top 25 players in Mississippi in his 2007 signing class. He was the starting quarterback for the Tigers, as well as the starting free safety, and he led the team to 10-3 record. Anderson accounted for 1,080 total yards as the quarterback. Anderson's next biggest offer out of high school was from Southern Miss.
What did he do in 2010? Anderson did not start a game in 2010, though he appeared in 11 of Mississippi State's 13 games. He recorded 12 tackles, 11 solo, in his appearances. As one of the main reserves off the bench, Anderson made a living finding the ball. He recorded three pass break-ups, two fumbles recovered and one forced fumble.
What does he need to do in 2011? Anderson is in a crowded secondary, with Johnthan Banks, Corey Broomfield and junior college transfer Darius Slay all fighting for time ahead of him. However, Anderson's athleticism will get him on the field, especially if he keeps finding the ball. Banks may also play more safety with the dismissal of Dennis Thames, which would open up more time for Anderson.
He won't be the star of MSU's defense in 2011, but Anderson could play a vital role in the Bulldogs' season as they face several potent passing games throughout their SEC schedule. Anderson, who redshirted in 2007, is one of the most experienced defensive backs on the team and he will have the opportunity to coach up his younger peers.
Coach's quote: cornerbacks coach Melvin Smith: "He's an experienced corner that's getting better. He gives us a lot of options and is getting better every day. I really like him a lot."