Jan. 12, 2001
Hear Damien Say It Himself! - Press Conference Audio
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern University All-America running back Damien Anderson announced today that he will return to the school for his senior season instead of entering the NFL draft.
"After talking to my parents, close friends and Coach Walker, I've decided to come back to Northwestern for my senior season," said Anderson. "I'm excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for Northwestern football in 2001, and I hope to be a part of that success. I would like to thank my teammates and the Northwestern fans for all their support, and I hope they are looking forward to next season as much as I am."
Anderson, who was a consensus All-American in 2000, set several school records this season. Prominent among them were the single-season records for rushing yards (2,063) and touchdowns (23). He finished second nationally in rushing with 174.0 yards per game, and shattered Lorenzo White's Big Ten records for rushing yards (1,549) and rushing average (193.6) in conference games. Most amazingly, Anderson set the conference marks with 54 fewer carries than White needed in 1985. Overall this season, he averaged a staggering 6.6 yards per carry in 2000. Perhaps most amazingly, Anderson did not fumble during the entire season, covering 293 rushing attempts.
Anderson had four games over the 200-yard mark, a school record, including a 292-yard day against Indiana that was the third-best rushing day in school history and a 268-yard day against Michigan that was the best individual rushing performance ever against a Wolverine defense by 67 yards. He also had four-touchdown games against Indiana and Illinois, tying a single-game mark in the process.
With one full season still to play, Anderson has 3,728 yards rushing which leaves him 65 yards shy of Darnell Autry's all-time school rushing record. Anderson is on track to graduate in June with a degree in communication studies.