Saunders has room to grow

A self-proclaimed "do it all" defensive end, Keith Saunders may have signed with Alabama late but he expects to contribute.

Keith Saunders (6-3, 230 4.60) describes himself as "a physical rush end who is a hard hitter and desires to be the best."

He hails from Holy Cross High School in Delran, New Jersey but comes to the Tide by way of Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. As a high school senior Saunders had a dynamite year with 90 tackles and 12 sacks.

The Tide got in on Saunders late, but new defensive ends coach Paul Randolph clinched his decision. "Coach Randolph recruited me some while he was at West Virginia," Saunders said. "I chose Alabama partly due him."

He did not start playing football until his sophomore year of high school. Saunders only just turned 18 in December, so he's still got plenty of room to develop. He has the frame to grow into a 6-5, 260-pound defensive end.

Saunders played both tight end and defensive end in high school, but he played strictly tight end after attending Hargrave Military Academy. However, Alabama signed him to play defensive end.

Just short of eligibility out of high school, Saunders was referred to Hargrave by the University of North Carolina. While there he matured greatly in his one season under Coach Robert Prunty.

Last season Saunders had seven receptions for around 200 yards in his one season, but his blocking ability grew drastically.

Saunders leaves prep school with a 2.45 GPA and has scored 950 on the SAT.

In the weight room he sports a 33-inch vertical jump, a 330-pound bench press, 450 squat, and 275 power clean. He runs a 4.0 twenty-yard shuttle

Saunders signed late with Alabama, though at one time or another he had offers from North Carolina and three other SEC schools. "The tradition and atmosphere at Alabama made me feel like I was at home," Saunders said.

His year at Hargrave will not affect his college eligibility. When Saunders reports this fall, he will still have five years to play four seasons.

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