Craig Sanders: "All Speed and Pain"

Most likely one of the hardest recruited players in the Southeast for 2010 will be Ariton (AL) defensive end Craig Sanders. At 6-5, 238 pounds is already great size to head to college as a defensive end. Having another year to grow and get better means the college suitors will be knocking down his door. He has eight offers already and the Florida Gators have made a big impression.

Craig Sanders plans on being 250 pounds by the start of his junior season, but the lightning quick pass rusher has 4.53-speed to go with his unique size for his age. To go with his athletic ability, Sanders is also a good student and will have no issues qualifying.

It is still early in the process, but Sanders will likely take to the road this spring to check out some of the finer institutions in the south. He has really enjoyed the recruiting process so far.

"It's going real good," Sanders said about the recruiting process so far. "I am going to try and make it to a couple of junior days. I don't know when."

Sanders really doesn't have a favorite at this point either.

"I am kind of wide open," he said. "I am just waiting to see all my choices. I have eight scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Clemson, Vanderbilt, and Stanford. Those that have offered all stand out to me, I don't know much about any other schools (that haven't offered).

There were a couple of big college games that he attended and stood out to Sanders this year. The first was the state of Alabama clash between the Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers.

"I went to see the Iron Bowl," he said. "It was good and exciting. It's electric. It was a great game and you can really feel the rivalry there. It was only my second one, I went when I was a kid and then again this year."

He also attended a night game at The Swamp in Gainesville. The national champion Florida Gators made an impression on Sanders early in the season.

"I went to the Florida-Miami game," he said. "It was a great game and I had a great time. Florida is just a whole lot louder than anywhere else."

Sanders saw the Gators play a few times and has come away very impressed with the defense. Everything the Gators do on that side of the ball is something he considers himself suited for.

"They are great...Coach Meyer has put together a great program," Sanders said. "Tim Tebow is coming back and so they have another possible chance at a national championship. That would be three in four years. I was surprised Florida didn't score more on Oklahoma. The defense didn't surprise me (doing so well). They have so much speed. It is all speed and pain...that hit by Major Wright, I liked that."

Sanders knows what he wants in a school and for the most part, the distance from his home in Alabama will not be a factor when it comes to decision time.

"Distance isn't going to play any part in the decision," he said. "I wouldn't go to Washington or anywhere that far North, I want to play football in the South.

"Playing time will be the biggest factor in my decision. I also want a good coaching staff...I have to be coached by some one good. Playing time and the coaching staff are the two biggest things."

Still early in the process Craig Sanders is a great one to keep an eye on. will continue to keep you updated on this big time Alabama defensive end.

Fightin Gators Top Stories