The New York Jets have a talented core of young players eager to make a name for themselves and bring the team back to glory – but none of them can probably do what Calvin Anderson can do.
Anderson, the Jets’ 23-year-old rookie offensive lineman, is not only good with his hands in the trenches but he can also solve a Rubik’s Cube with relative ease. He told the Associated Press on Tuesday he can master the puzzle in various ways, including behind the back and blindfolded.
“It’s a cool, little talent,” he told the AP.
Anderson’s love for the 1980s puzzle game began in elementary school when he saw a teammate solve one for the first time. He said the competitor in him knew he had to do it better – and so he did. Years later, Anderson told the AP he owns about 30 of them and took a few to camp with him.
“I probably need to get some more, actually,” he said. “I have a little dresser [at home] that has a drawer with a bunch of Rubik's Cubes.”
Anderson played his first two years of college football at Rice University before transferring to the University of Texas. He said he showed off his Rubik’s Cube skills at a talent show during his freshman year with the Owls.
“Everybody knew I could do the Rubik's Cube, so it was going to be lame if I just went up there and did the Rubik's Cube,” he said. “So I took like seven or eight months before I even got to Rice and I was trying to think, what could I do? I wanted to shake it up. I wanted to do something with the Rubik's Cube — how could I make it different?”
Anderson said he learned how to solve the puzzle without looking. He said it helped by correlating the Rubik’s Cube with a Sudoku puzzle and once he did that it all came easy to him.
He said it even helped him focus before game time.
“Before games when I was in Texas, everybody was asking me why I always would do the Rubik's Cube or carry it around,” Anderson said. “Same thing at Rice. When I'm locking into something, it helps to have my mind being stimulated like that. It's almost calming to me. It's like my mind's working, but I'm zeroing in. It's getting rid of distractions.”
The Jets claimed Anderson off waivers from the New England Patriots in May. He was All-Conference USA honorable mention in 2016 and 2017 with Rice before he transferred to Texas. He then made the All-Big 12 honorable mention team in his lone season with the Longhorns.
His chances of making the team even as a backup are unclear, but he still has the competitive edge in at least one thing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.