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Injuries have hampered safety Zayne Anderson’s BYU career. Staying healthy is paramount in 2020

Anderson enters the 2020 season as a projected starter at safety, a position where he saw some action in 2019. 

Linebacker Zayne Anderson, center, stretches during Brigham Young University football practice in Provo on Friday, March 6, 2020.
FILE: Zayne Anderson, center, stretches during Brigham Young University football practice in Provo on Friday, March 6, 2020.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

PROVO — Senior Zayne Anderson is a leader and a playmaker on BYU’s defense.

After playing outside linebacker for most of his career with the Cougars, Anderson enters the 2020 season as a projected starter at safety, a position where he saw some action in 2019.

“I’m expecting this year that I’ll be back at safety but I can play anywhere. I think our coaches, depending on the scheme, might move me around,” he said. “As of now, I’m playing free safety and rotating in at strong (safety). I’m kind of learning everything. It’s good to know everything, playing different teams and different schemes.”

Senior Troy Warner and sophomore Chaz Ah You are also expected to see significant time at safety.

BYU cornerbacks coach Jernaro Gilford, center, talks with Cougar safeties Zayne Anderson, right, and Troy Warner during practice on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.
Jaren Wilkey/BYU

For Anderson, the key will be staying healthy.

In 2018, he played only in the four games before being sidelined for the remainder of the season. He recorded a big second-half interception that helped propel BYU to an upset win at Wisconsin.

A year ago, he saw action in only two games before reinjuring his shoulder and missing the rest of the year.

How is he feeling so far, a couple of weeks into camp?

“My shoulder is feeling really good,” Anderson said. “After last year, coming off of a surgery and then it failing, it feels really secure. I put in work to where it should hold up. It’s really exciting that it feels good.”