Kelle Sanders had a big day on Thursday.
A Class of 2017 defensive end at River Ridge High School in Lacey, Wash., Sanders picked up his first Southeastern Conference scholarship offer from the University of Missouri and then added his first Pac-12 scholarship offer from Washington State.
“My first one was Wyoming,” said Sanders, a 6-foot-5, 215-pounder who also plays quarterback. “Then I got one from Eastern Washington University, then Western Colorado State University and Wazzu — Washington State University.”
Sanders said Missouri offered before Washington State.
“They messaged me on Twitter, Coach (A.J.) Ofodile, and he was asking me how tall I am and all that,” Sanders said of Missouri’s new recruiting coordinator. “We talked about my grades and I told him to go ahead and contact my coach and from there they started communicating back and forth and then they pulled the trigger.”
Boom. His first SEC offer.
“It’s crazy,” Sanders said. “I’ve always watched the SEC and have known that they are like the powerhouse of colleges and now I have an offer from one of them. It’s like, damn, now I could be playing on that level with everyone else.”
What did the Missouri coaches say they liked about him?
“They said I fit into their scheme with how long I am and my speed and everything,” Sanders said.
Sanders quickly learned about Missouri’s proud tradition of defensive ends, including NFL first-round picks Justin Smith, Aldon Smith and Shane Ray and second rounders Kony Ealy and Markus Golden.
What kind of defensive end is Sanders?
“My strengths are my speed and my arms,” he said. “I need to get better on my bull rush and my finesse moves and all that.”
Sanders said he’s relatively new to the position, but he showed his potential as a pass rusher during his junior season in 2015.
“I had 11 sacks,” he said. “I broke my school record for sacks. I had four knockdowns and eight hurries.”
The former quarterback now has a future in chasing down QBs.
“I started out as a quarterback,” Sanders said. “Then when I was on JV last year he tried me out at defensive end and he liked how I was there. We kind of battled for the quarterback spot and then he just moved me to defensive end. Ever since then I’ve been a defensive end. I’m playing quarterback for my team this upcoming year.”
What kind of quarterback was Sanders?
“Grip and rip spread offense,” he said.
Sanders figures to see an uptick in his recruiting with his new offers this week — he mentioned Utah State and Oregon coaches have started following him on Twitter — but he’s already planning to visit the two big schools that offered him on Thursday.
“I’m trying to plan one to Wazzu and Missouri and all that,” he said. “I’m trying to get out there.”
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