There’s plenty of talented safeties down here in Mobile, Alabama. But there aren’t many like Toledo’s Tycen Anderson. Heck, there aren’t many 22-year olds like him period, football or not. Anderson is using this year’s Senior Bowl to secure not only his NFL future but the rest of his life.
NFL. Not for long. Players make money and lots of it. But the old saying goes, it’s not about what you make but what you keep. Make $10 million and spending $10 million is still broke at the end of the day. Anderson’s not going to be that guy. He knows what he’s doing with his first check from the league.
“Save the same majority of it,” he told me in an interview Wednesday. “Just try to find something that I can invest in. I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve got some family members who’ve got their CDLs thinking about starting a little trucking organization.”
Anderson also doesn’t look like every other safety either. Weighing in at over 6’1″, 204 pounds with long, 33-inch arms, he has more than enough size to play in the league. He also has the versatility, used all over the Rockets’ defense. It’s improved his football IQ and he detailed his thought process playing near the line of scrimmage or as the deep, post safety.
“When you’re in the box, you gotta be a lot more strong, more aggressive shooting gaps. When in the middle of the field, it’s kind of more, you gotta relax, kind of read everything and just be the safety net on the backend. Be the deepest and when a big run bust up, we gotta be there to make that tackle ten times out of ten.”
Anderson spent five years playing for Toledo in part thanks to just a six-game, 2020 season, compelling Anderson to return for 2021. He played in ten games, finishing the year with 44 tackles. He was just as busy off the football field, scoring a NIL deal at TDC, a financial group and investment firm that helped solidify Anderson’s saver mentality.
“It’s a great program, financial literacy program that I learned so much about credit borrowing, mortgages, car loans. It’s a lot of stuff. It’s always been something I’ve been passionate about because I don’t want to get to a position to have a lot of wealth and lose it.”
“You grow up in the middle class. Family members living check-to-check is just something that I don’t want to do no more for the rest of my life. Just trying to set myself up for 40-year-old Tyson, 50-year-old Tyson.”
Predicting where Anderson will land, like virtually any other draft pick, is just dart-throwing. He, like all these other guys, are willing to play wherever with whoever gives them a chance. But the Steelers would be *the* place to go. Anderson grew up a Steelers’ fan, adoring Troy Polamalu, and though he doesn’t have a meeting with the team yet, got to introduce himself to Mike Tomlin earlier in the week.
“I actually got a chance to shake Mike Tomlin’s hand. Growing up a Steelers’ fan and still am. That was a crazy moment just to shake his hand.”
Anderson’s unlikely to begin his career making millions like first-round picks. But he could be a “riser” in the draft with an intriguing blend of size, versatility, and borderline 4.3-type of speed. He’ll also bring a good head on his shoulders to any NFL team. This week has been about investing in his NFL future. But he’ll spend the rest of his life investing in himself.