Published Tuesday, September 18, 2012 AT 6:43 PM / Updated at 7:37 PM
Practice Report: Huskers lose LB Zaire Anderson for season
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska linebacker Zaire Anderson — who started his first game Saturday — will miss the rest of the season because of an ACL tear in his right knee, NU coach Bo Pelini announced Tuesday.

“Unfortunate for him,” Pelini said. “He was really coming along. But it is what it is. And he’ll recover fully. Surprised all of us. But the kid’s hurting.”

Anderson said he was “devastated” by the injury, especially since he hurt the knee Sept. 11  during a drill. Anderson heard the knee pop, “but it was something I thought I could fight through,” he said.

He started vs. Arkansas State — finishing with three tackles — and had planned on practicing “full speed” on Tuesday until the MRI revealed the tear.

“I can stand on it right now, so I just don’t understand,” said Anderson, who will have surgery next week and is expected to fully recover. The one positive, he added, is that he’ll able to learn the defense better. Pelini said NU will explore medical redshirt options for the junior college transfer.

In Anderson’s absence, the Huskers will go back to relying on senior Alonzo Whaley and redshirt freshman David Santos, defensive coordinator John Papuchis said. Emergency options may include true freshmen Thomas Brown and Michael Rose.

“But I don’t know if we’re ready to go down that road,” Papuchis said.

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.


  1. Jamie says:

    Tough break for Zaire and the Blackshirts. I really seen some good things out of him Sat. I hope he gets the medical redshirt. Looks like David Santos will get the bulk of the time i would assume. I would think they would like to save the redshirts if at all possible. This is going to be a year full of obstacles for the Husker.. Will the roller coaster ever level off GBR

  2. Waskel Wabbit says:

    this is TERRIBLE news for him and the defense. I can only think of one thing that could make it any worse…Whaley playing!!! I hope he gets the medical redhirt and has a complete recovery. Whaley? He runs so slow I doubt he could catch his own shadow. Now I’m the one sick to my stomach!!!

    1. HuskerJosh says:

      sure is funny how he is in position on all those plays where he misses tackles….everyone else on both teams must be slow too, errr wait, mabe u just don’t have any good goddamn idea what you’re talking about….yep,that’s it

      1. Waskel Wabbit says:

        Have you been watching the same games I have been watching? You Kool-Aid dinkers ar the ones who have no goddamn idea! Watch the film!!! yep, that’s it.

    2. agromatic says:

      So you are volunteering to take over duties for Whaley?

      1. Waskel Wabbit says:

        No, but my grandmother is available. She could outrun Whaley and I dare say, make a frickin tackle. Watch the film. Perhaps actually have your eyes open while you watch the game. You Kool-Aid drinkers are sure geeting more bold since we whipped up on that national powerhouse, Ark St. I can’t wait to see your comments after this Saturday. Bo will have everything fixed and we’ll be ready for Alabama huh.

    3. Colorado Springer says:

      The Coaches are professionals and criticism goes with the territory. Layoff the kids. You are hurtful and need to keep your criticisms of the players to yourself. These types of statements are beneath contempt.

      1. HuskerStew says:

        Say what you will about Whaley’s speed, but one thing is sure – the Husker defense is better when he is not on the field.

      2. Waskel Wabbit says:

        Because the guy is slower than molasses, we should all just pretend he isn’t slow and can make tackels. Might hurt his sensitive feelings. Evidently you are part of the “trophy generation” where everybody deserves a trophy no matter how they play. Can I pass you some more Kool-Aid? Go ahead, drink up.

        1. HuskerNationNick says:

          Waskel Wabbit, your putting down a kid that came out PUBLICLY after the UCLA game, and admitted he shouldn’t be starting, because he is having problems with tackling. Lay off the kid, especially when he realizes whats going on. If you also knew what you were talking about, Whaley wouldn’t be starting, and Santos would be the initial starter. Whaley would be his relief player. Know your facts before you spat off at the mouth.

          1. Waskel Wabbit says:

            I guess I hurt your sensitive feelings too. For that I am deeply sorry. And Whaley, I apologize to you too. You can both keep your trophies and display them proudly. No matter how poorly either of you do in life, or football, just show us your trophies, or in the case of HuskerNationNick, just have a tantum until you get your way.

          2. You don’t understand the difference between pro players who are entertainers playing for millions of dollars, and college athletes. Go to the pro boards and dump you spleen there.

  3. stevesdenver says:

    Zaire, keep your nose to the grindstone! Whether football works out, or not, I look forward to hearing good things about you in the future. Good luck, and best wishes fro the Corn Nation!

  4. Dale spencer says:

    Hey all! These are young men! Think you need to take a step back with your frequent and easy criticism. How talented and smart were all of you at that age? Just asking because I have a son the same age that didn’t adjust to unl very well as just a student! Proud to say he is going to be a marine! Just saying! Sanctimonious and judgemental talk from most of you makes me sick! GBR

    1. Waskel Wabbit says:

      We get it…you got lucky at least once!

  5. Dale spencer says:

    Waskel, pretty unfortunate for Zaire Anderson! That’s the real concern! Sure you could man up and outrun whaley! As a father the frequent and easy criticism of many fans of our athletes makes me sick to my stomach!!

    1. Waskel Wabbit says:

      OKAY, we get it…you got lucky at least once!

  6. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    And to think it wasn’t a tackling drill………….

  7. Joe says:

    Sorry to hear this news for a young man who has worked so hard to be a part of the starting defensive unit. I hope he receives a medical redshirt decision and I believe it would be justified. Keep your spirits up Mr. Anderson and get well fast. We’d love to see you starting next year and helping our blackshirts become a force to be reconded with in 2013.

  8. Milze says:

    54-6 with Zaire,,,, 52-6 without. Today Idaho potatoe, tommorro BIG time BIG ten,,, we’re gonna need that two points!
    Comm’on DDDDDD STEPPPP UPPPPP!!!! Cordially, Milzetime, Kain Dog, Ratt, Stevo Majic.

  9. Milze says:

    and Ronnie.. the original Dream Team..

  10. DBINOREGON says:

    Whaley looks completely lost, poor tackling, etc., Santos or somebody else better step up and NLT the Wisc game!

  11. KansaHusker says:

    I remember after Alabama put a big time whipping on us when Devaney was Coach and he announced we ere to bg and slow to compete with schools like Alabama and we needed to get lean and mean. As i recall it was headlines the start of the following season how much weight the team had dropped and how quicker we were,also either that year o the following not sure anymore but we won our first national title. I only mention this because this maybe all whaley needs to do to sped up is drop five or ten pounds.

    1. A Fan says:

      LBs for this year; Whaley, Fischer, Compton, Santos. Anderson and Rose can’t play due to health issues. Afalava might be needed.

  12. Waskel Wabbit says:

    Nah, we just speak the truth. We don’t sugar coat the truth. WHALEY IS SLOW AND CAN”T TACKLE FOR S-IT!!!

  13. Dr.D says:

    Sorry to hear this. It will be a long road, but we hope to see Zaire on the field next season!

  14. NUCORNDEVIL says:

    We already see how so not Div1 Compton, Fisher, and Whaley are, but when a kid whom had been recruited by a defensive ‘genius’ and 4 years later says he should not be on the field, he is ‘having trouble tackling’, many red flags should go up.
    Should i go find the post where i mentioned to you all how ‘This is the most depleted and under talented defensive line and LB corps in the history of Husker Football?” I may have thrown in a few D2 comments as well.
    It’s not so much Whaley admitting he is having trouble, it’s the other two LB’s who didn’t admit it.