by Jordan Allen
Every day, the sun rises at dawn and rests at dusk. What do you do to make each of those moments count during your time here on Earth? There are a lot of things that each person must focus on each day, but what about once life is all said and done?A former Trojan student-athlete shared his perspective about what’s truly important.
Josh Anderson was born in Atlanta and raised in Douglasville, Georgia. Josh was a football star at his high school alma mater South Paulding High School. During his time at South Paulding, he was named all-region in 2012 as a linebacker, rated as three-star recruit by both ESPN and Scout, and ranked by ESPN as the No. 3 fullback in the country.
While a lot of Power 5 schools were switching from the pro-style offense to the air raid offense, fullbacks were beginning to have a diminished role in the new age of college football.
“I’ve always wanted to play running back, but I marketed myself as a fullback and schools knew that,” Josh said. “I had a lot of big schools interested, but they just never pulled the trigger.
“I was able to speak to coaches such as Mark Richt and Charlie Strong, but it just didn’t work out.”
After these different offers were given to Anderson, Troyand former head coach Neal Brown decided to make the offer to him.
“Troy came out of nowhere,” Anderson said. “Honestly, I had never heard of Troy and didn’t know where Troy was when the offer came.”
He committed to come to Troy and then decided to redshirt his freshman year after tearing his meniscus during his final year at South Paulding. Coming into Troy, there were some pretty high expectations from the running back room going into the season. Alongside Anderson, Troy also brought in running back Jordan Chunn.
While the running back tandem of Anderson and Chunn were together, they were able to be a part of some big games such as playing against NC State, Wisconsin, and Clemson. Even though they did not win those games, they were able to beat LSU during Anderson’s senior year in 2017.
“We went into Death Valley, and it felt like something was different going into that day,” Anderson said. “I remember having a bible study before that game with a few players like Jordan Chunn, Kaleb Barker, and Deondre Douglas, and we could just feel like it’s going to be a big night.”
Anderson and the Trojans concluded his senior season by beating North Texas and winning the New Orleans Bowl. After the season ended, Anderson had an opportunity to take his career to the next level. Anderson had the opportunity to receive a workout with the Atlanta Falcons and a trial with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League. However, none of the opportunities worked out in the end, and that was the end of Anderson’s football career.
With all the years spent and given to football, what do was Anderson to do when the road came to an end? He went back to the bigger purpose he had discovered freshman year.
“I became a Christian at New Year’s Conference my freshman year,” Andreson said. “I ended up going and had a close encounter with God and then things just kind of really took off from there from a spiritual standpoint”.
In December of each year, a Christian organization on campus called Campus Outreach attends the New YearsConference in Chattanooga, Tennessee where they host over 20 colleges across the southeast to teach and introduce students about the Christian faith to students.
After the New Years Conference, Anderson said he began to understand he cannot walk through this faith alone.
“I had some guys on the team then who were also believers who wanted to hold each other accountable,” Andreson said. “I think that’s really when I just like took a deep dive into the faith and really wanted to be devoted to the Lord.
“I grew some conviction about my personal sin, how I was living my life then and how I’ve reflected him.”
Anderson said that having a spiritual connection with his teammates, and developing the courage to believe in God in a space where it is not often talked about, played a big part in his future after college.
After Anderson’s football journey, he joined the Campus Outreach staff at Troy and was able to continue to use his voice to share God’s word and build relationships with the men on the football team.
“Being on staff is very relational,” Anderson said. “I get the chance to share the gospel and befriend people.
“I’m not befriending people because I want to get themessage across, but because I actually do care about them, their life, and where they’re headed.”
Anderson said he has only grown more passionate about spreading the gospel as the years go on.
“I think once I was exposed to the truth and saw the light of the gospel, I saw the world live completely differently,” Anderson said. “I can’t help but be grateful for the gospel because of the ministry that Jesus brings to the table.
“It’s an anchor to my soul man, and I can’t live life without it”.