Former Montana State linebacker Troy Andersen's college stats are laughable at first glance.
Two thousand two hundred sixty rushing yards, 33 touchdowns, 214 tackles, 26.5 tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, 12 passes deflected, three interceptions. As a senior, he was the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year, and a first-team FCS All-American after securing 147 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, two sacks, and two interceptions.
Andersen's stats are similar to that of a created player in the Madden video game, with attributes maxed out to the highest number. People are not supposed to be able to do what Andersen did at the division one level. He shined on both sides of the ball throughout college, spending time at running back, quarterback, and linebacker before playing linebacker full time as a senior.
The Falcons bought into Andersen's video game stats, taking him with the 58th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
"I've always tried to do whatever, you know, the coaches or the program wanted me to do at Montana State," Andersen told Atlantafalcons.com. "I'm all about it. I love winning football games. And, you know, I'm, I'm excited to get down to Atlanta and start doing that."
And Andersen's versatility has already been compared to one of his new teammates, Cordarrelle Patterson, who has shined playing multiple positions on the field and has expressed an interest in playing defense. The Ringer's Danny Kelly called described Andersen as "If Cordarrelle Patterson played linebacker."
"That's crazy. I mean, I've been watching Cordarrelle Patterson for a long time," Andersen said. "He's an unbelievable athlete, kind of does everything a team needs, so to even be remotely called that is insane."
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Andersen said that while he was happy to switch positions consistently in college, he often wondered whether he was good enough at one to play in the NFL. After focusing solely on linebacker for his final college season, he realized that his dream of playing on Sundays could become a reality.
"It's what every little boy dreams of," Andersen said. "I can't believe it right now. I'm ecstatic."
While Andersen shined at linebacker in his final season, and the Falcons drafted him to play the position, he is not closing the door on filling other roles, if needed.
"I mean, I'll do whatever the coaches want me to do. I'll play wherever," Andersen said while laughing. "... I think I'm a smart player. I think I play extremely hard. And I'm tough. Those are the kind of the three things that you have to have to play linebacker. If you're not smart, if you're not tough, [don't] play hard; there's no room for you on the field."
Andersen, who won state championships in three different sports in high school and many awards throughout college, says he hopes to bring that winning culture to Atlanta.
"I'm ready to get down there and get to work and start winning, winning football games and making long, long pushes into the postseason and winning championships," he said. "I'm all about winning, and I think that's something [Falcons fans] should know about me.