On a Saturday when they didn’t play the Arkansas State Red Wolves picked up a big win.
Highland (Kan.) Community College defensive end linebacker Joe Sanders, who was a Tennessee commit coming out of high school, made a pledge to the Red Wolves after his Scotties played Dodge City (Kan.) Community College in the season finale.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder visited Arkansas State during the Big Pack Weekend in July but let town without a commit.
“I really liked it up there,’’ he said. “I liked the school and I really love the indoor facility. I got to see that and it was really nice.
“My season was over and I figured it was about time to decide where I was going to go next. Arkansas State has always been there. I figure that is where I can go and get to the next level.”
He said he plans to sign when the junior college signing period opens on Dec. 16.
Sanders said his main recruiter was defensive line coach Brian Early along with Joe Cauthen and Trooper Taylor.
Out of LaGrange, Ga., Sanders (6-4, 260) spent the past season at Highland. He did not get to play with where current A-State defensive lineman Jake Swalley, who played at Highland, but he did meet him on this visit. He played as a freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“I had a good year,’’ he said. “As a team we were 6-5 I think. I really like to rush the passer. I like getting after the quarterback a lot. Arkansas State wants me to play defensive end. That is where I played here but at Gulf Coast I played end and I played linebacker in pass coverage too.”
He earned second team all-conference in Mississippi. This past season he had 61 tackles and 5 sacks for Highland.
At LaGrange he was a 4-year starter in in football and started 3 years on the basketball team. He lettered as freshmen on a team that won a state championship.
He had offers or interest from South Florida, Middle Tennessee, Purdue, South Alabama, Minnesota, and Idaho among others. His reported offer list out of high school included several Power-5 teams.
“I’m glad to end all that,’’ he said.