When the University of Arkansas originally offered College Park (Ga.) prep star Donnell Sanders a scholarship, he was a 6-2, 206-pound standout who looked more like a linebacker than a defensive end.
But when he showed up this weekend, he had gotten thicker and now the 230-pounder is destined to be a big-time pass-rushing defensive end.
Indeed Sanders, who committed to Razorback head coach Houston Nutt before he left Fayetteville this morning, now looks more the part of a defensive end.
"I got on the scales for the coaches this morning and it said I weighed 230 pounds, something the coaches were excited about," Sanders said. "They were excited about that and the fact that I said I wanted to be a Razorback. And I am excited about getting into Arkansas' weight room and getting even bigger and stronger."
Sanders (6-2, 230), who only played two games last season due to a torn ACL, had 12 sacks among his 70 tackles as a junior.
That junior season was the one that Arkansas assistant coach Tracy Rocker saw him play and decided that he wanted him to be a part of the Razorback program.
Sanders ended up choosing Arkansas over Kansas State, where he visited the previous weekend and joins Rosenberg (Texas) Terry safety Adrian Davis (6-4, 195, 4.5) and visiting players who committed to the Razorbacks before they left Fayetteville.
"Arkansas has great coaches and great facilities, but perhaps the biggest factor was that they stuck with me from day one - even after I got injured," Sanders said. "Some of the others didn't and had tried to get back in late, but it was also going to be about Arkansas for me."
Sanders' knee is two months ahead of schedule according to himself.
"it feels real good now and I am cleared by the doctor to do anything right now," Sanders said. "I think I will be healthy enough to play and make an impact next season, but if they think it is best for me to redshirt, then that would be fine with me, too."
Sanders admits that playing in the SEC instead of the Big 12 was a factor as well.
"My family is here in the South and playing in the SEC they will get to see me all the time on television," Sanders said. "Plus it is just the best league around and I can't wait to be playing in those games."
Nutt, who coached in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday, got back in time to talk to the recruits oN Saturday night as they had dinner with coaches and their families inside Reynolds Razorback Satdium.
"That was really cool and he got back in time to talk to us and make us all feel wanted and welcomed," Sanders said. "When I told him this morning that I wanted to be a Razorback he got very happy - just like I did."
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