At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Saunders is one of the hardest hitting safeties in the South. He put his talents to good use on the field for Madison High School in 2008 by posting 94 tackles, breaking up five passes, forcing two fumbles, and picking off one pass on his way to garnering all-district honors. But Saunders says there’s more to his game than just hitting people.
“I think everyone likes me for my hitting ability, and that’s probably what I do best,” he said. “But I also read my keys very well and react fast. I cover a lot of ground and play with a high motor.”
Saunders’ knack for putting ball carriers on their backs in a hurry is helping him get noticed by a number of different schools.
“My offers are from Texas A&M, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas Tech, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Houston and Florida State,” he said. “I’m also hearing from Kansas, Kansas State, Oregon, Vanderbilt, Purdue, and Colorado.”
Saunders said that the recruiting process has been one that seems to change by the day. At one point he thought he had narrowed things down only to decide later that he should keep his options open.
While he said that he was keeping all of his options open and was now undecided on just one favorite, he does have a solid top five with two schools at the top.
“My top five right now is Oklahoma, LSU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and Missouri,” he said. “I can just see myself playing at those schools and think I would fit in well. Right now, it seems that OU and LSU are at the top, but that’s not set in stone.”
Saunders has already been to Texas Tech’s junior day this spring. He plans to visit Oklahoma this Saturday and Texas A&M next weekend. He is also hoping to make a visit to LSU sometime this summer, which would make more than one person very happy.
“My girlfriend is from Louisiana,” he said. “She grew up in New Orleans. She’s always telling me she wants to go back and visit her family that’s still there, and she thinks I would like it too.”
Of course, Saunders has his own reasons for making a trip to the Bayou State.
“I talked to coach (Larry) Porter on the phone a few weeks ago and he told me they were offering me,” Saunders said. “Then the letters came in the mail two days later. It was exciting because I wasn’t really expecting anything from them. The offer was actually the first letter I got from LSU.
“Coach Porter talked to me about a lot of things,” he continued. “He said they really want me and they love how I play. They like me as an all around football player, but are recruiting me as a safety. They really want me to get down there to see the campus, so I’m going to try to do that this summer.”
Though Saunders knows a few things about LSU, he’s anxious to learn more in the coming months.
“LSU always has a good defense,” he said. “They’re one of the top defensive teams in college football every year. They emailed me a video from their pro day; that was pretty cool. I know they have good tradition and aren’t too far from home so I know I would fit in perfectly. I’ve also heard Baton Rouge is pretty cool, so I think I wouldn’t have much trouble adapting to living there.”
Saunders says after he comes back from visiting LSU this summer it won’t be long before he’s ready to make a decision.
“I’m going to commit sometime during the summer after I finish my visits,” he said. “LSU is the last one I’m planning on right now, so it will probably be after that one. I’m going to be looking for playing time, distance from home, a good relationship with the coaching staff, and good team chemistry.”
Note: Saunders claims a 4.55 in the 40-yard dash, 4.45 shuttle, 34 inch vertical, and 9-3 broad jump.