By Jacob Greene
Freshman quarterback leads by example.
Kaleb Anderson started playing football at the age of 6. Anderson played for the Tracy Bulldogs.
Anderson moved to American Canyon, CA when he was in 3rd grade. The Anderson family wanted to be closer to family.
“It’s great, man. Quiet,” said Anderson.
Anderson’s even tone and calm demeanor embody the small town.
“I actually fish, play video games, and then just any sports, basketball, baseball, whatever–just be outside,” said Anderson.
Anderson played varsity track and football. He ran the 100m, 200m, and 400m for track. His 40-yard dash was 4.7 seconds.
Anderson's love of football began with his dad.
“My dad played in college, my older brother is in college right now playing football,” Anderson said.
Anderson’s biggest influence has been his dad.
“For sure my dad, he’s taught me the game of football. He’s taught me everything I know–even in life. Whatever I can do to make him and my parents proud,” Anderson said.
Anderson looks up to Miami Dolphin quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
“He’s always been criticized a lot. He’s been doubted and right now he’s proving everyone wrong. So I think that correlates to me. Not always being the big man, but being doubted,” Anderson said.
Anderson looks up to Tagovailoa for more than his mentality.
“At the QB position, he’s very accurate, and I would say that’s what you want in a quarterback. I feel I have that. Just taking completions, not always trying to make the big play. Just asking the right decision and putting your team in the best position to win,” Anderson said.
Anderson leads by example, with more than words.
“I’m more of a lead-by-example kind of guy. I don’t really talk a lot. I’m not like the one to give speeches or anything, but I always try to do the right thing and keep my teammates on track too,” Anderson said.
Anderson had nothing but praise for his teammates–especially the more vocal ones.
“Marc gives the best speeches, he’s always up talking–he really grew well in that role,” Anderson said.
The excitement in Anderson’s even-toned voice grew as he talked about his team.
“I mean the guys we have now–they're great. Some of the best players I've ever been on a team with and ever seen play. We’re also bringing in high-quality guys, transfers, and freshmen,” Anderson said.
From a small town of 21,605 Anderson still has big dreams.
“Of course like win championships and stuff. But, I would just say be a winning quarterback–like what I said earlier, putting my team in the best position to win, and then following through with winning too. Just being a winner,” Anderson said.
A winning mentality begins with coaching. It also begins with the locker room culture.
“Coach Daniel is not like any other coach I’ve ever seen, very loving God. Always told the truth. Also, Coach Garrett, [he] was on my visit. It made it comfortable just being someone I can talk to about anything, like not just a coach, but like almost a friend,” Anderson said.
An additional factor for Anderson was chapel. It was something he enjoyed about his visit to Simpson University in March of 2023.
“There was a little chapel service and then, I liked [it], that’s something I could fit into,” Anderson said.
The first taste of football on campus was a showcase on Oct. 21. After the showcase, Anderson talked about how he felt moving ahead with the team.
“To play with my teammates one last time this year was good. Defense kinda got us right now, but we’ll work on it.”
Anderson also gave credit to the great defense they played during the showcase.
“It’s a great thing, you know. It makes the offense better every day we go up against them and then in the game, we know they’ve always got our backs.
Despite their good defense, Anderson displayed his veteran-like poise.
“I could’ve done better, there’s definitely things to improve on for me–but that goes for everyone. I’m not worried about that we’ll get to work in spring and everything, so we’ll be back.”
Anderson emphasized–yet again–how much his family means to him.
“Every time I see them it makes me happy they come down 3 hours, you know–that's not an easy drive so every time I get to see them I’m thankful,” Anderson said.
That is special.