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Pre-NFL combine Q&A: Henry Anderson

Stanford defensive lineman Henry Anderson had a decorated career for the Cardinal and since the college football season ended he has been very busy preparing for the NFL scouting combine. The Pac-12 Blog caught up with Anderson, who signed with CAA and has been training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

How has post-Stanford life been for you?

Anderson: Usually we get a couple of weeks to just rest and recover from the season before we get started with offseason workouts and all of that. This year I took a couple days, spent New Year's up in Lake Tahoe and then I came straight to IMG and got going. It has been pretty crazy, they've packed a bunch of stuff into each day, trying to get us ready for all of the things we're going to be doing at the combine. They're trying to mentally prepare us and get us in the mindset of being an NFL player, so it has been a busy past couple months, but definitely very useful experience.

You knew that because the combine fell in February that your schedule would be more tightly packed, but were you/your body prepared for that grind?

Anderson: It still came so quick. It did kind of hit me that you're jumping right back into training. You're pretty much trying to be a track athlete right when the season is over. It's a little weird just because that season is such a long grind and you kind of want some time to just relax and take a little time off, but you've got to get right back into it, training for the combine. The first couple weeks of training took a little getting used to but the experience has been great.

What has training looked like for you?

Anderson: They obviously train us for the 40-yard dash, the shuttles, the jumps and all that stuff -- the physical testing. But they've also done a really good job preparing us for the interviews, just getting mentally prepared for all that type of stuff and have us dominate that portion of the combine as well. And nutrition, we meet each week about nutrition as well. We've got nutritionists with us all the time. It's definitely a lot different from what I did at Stanford just because we're basically training to be sprinters rather than be football players. And Stanford was all about trying to be the best football player we could be. The weightlifting program was a little different.

You underwent a huge physical transformation from your freshman to redshirt senior seasons at Stanford. What has the transformation for a football player to a sprinter looked like for you?

Anderson: I have gotten leaner, dropped body fat, but I've stayed the same weight. It's weird because we'll probably never train like this again. You're never training to run a 40-yard dash. At Stanford, it was kind of an unorthodox strength and conditioning program we had there. It wasn't about how much you could bench, how much you could squat, how fast you could run. Everything was centered around just being a good football player. We weren't about benching heavy and all that kind of stuff. A lot of our work there dealt with just functional strength and being a good athlete. So, coming here and transitioning into benching as many reps at 225 as you can and trying to sprint as fast as you can, it has been a lot different.

What about the off-the-field training and life? Has anything funny happened with that?

Anderson: During interview training they've had some funny questions. They've told us some questions that some previous players had gotten in interviews. They said sometimes a scout or someone will walk up to you with some random object and list as many things as possible that you can do with that random object. We were all laughing about that because we didn't have any idea what that had to do with anything.

We went bowling one time and there were some guys who weren't too good at bowling, so that was pretty funny.

OK, name some names...

Anderson: First, Jon Feliciano [U of Miami offensive lineman] was a stud at bowling, I think he had his own ball and his own towel to polish the ball and everything. He was really good. And then, Patrick Miller [Auburn offensive lineman] was a pretty bad bowler. Watching Xzavier Dickson [Alabama linebacker] bowl was pretty funny as well.

You leave for the combine on Thursday morning and will work out on Sunday, what are your feelings on finally getting to Indianapolis?

Anderson: It's pretty cool. As a kid I never even dreamt of being able to play in the NFL so having an opportunity like this is something I truly cherish. Hopefully I go in there and make a good impression on all the teams and all the coaches that are there.