TUCSON, Ariz — It's not that Sugar Skulls defensive back Carlos Anderson didn't attend college at a major football program, but rather that he didn't play college football at all.
Anderson competed in track and field at Portland State University, but didn't play any football. So, he set about using the indoor league as a way to get back in the game.
"I feel like running track was actually to my best ability because as a defensive back, you need to have great hips and great feet," said Anderson. "It wasn't really a tough transition."
If anyone knows about playing defensive back, it's Sugar Skulls coach Marcus Coleman, who played that position for eleven seasons in the NFL.
"Usually with track guys, you see them at defensive back or wideout because the first think everyone thinks about is that they can run," said Coleman. "I don't look at that. I look more at the explosiveness, the hips."
When current Sugar Skull defensive back Dee Maggitt Jr, was playing for Iowa, he got Anderson a tryout with the Barnstormers, who's defensive coordinator at the time was Coleman. However, Anderson didn't make the team.
"It just came down to experience," said Anderson. "Everyone played four to five years at a big school. I hadn't played since high school."
Anderson later caught on with Kansas City of the Indoor Champions Football League, though his stay was a short one.
When Coleman became coach of the Sugar Skulls, he reached out to Andrerson, who was willing to give football one more try.
"Football has always one of my favorite sports," said Anderson. "I'm still healthy and young without kids, so why not keep pushing for the dream."
"He came into camp and did a good job of learning what we were doing," said Coleman.. "He didn't make a lot of mistakes. That's what impresses me. He works every day and tries to get better."
Anderson not only made this year's Sugar Skulls, but he is seeing significant playing time.
"He's definitely a good cover guy," added Coleman.