"It means a lot," Sanders said of being the first player selected. "I don't know if I would have felt differently if I had been second or third, but it's a great honor."
After a nearly 30-minute presentation, Army Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley presented the official invitation to very humbled Sanders and introduced him to the packed house in Oklahoma City. Sanders is one of just 90 players nationally that will be selected to the team.
Despite having known for a while that this honor was coming, the first-class nature of the operation and the enormity of the presentation took Sanders aback.
"It was very emotional," Sanders said. "To see everybody here and to receive the honor in person meant a lot. Hopefully I'll be able to not let anybody down and take something from this that will make a better person out of me."
Sanders continued after taking a scan of set up, "I knew they said it was going to be big, but I wasn't expecting it to be this big."
It has been a big couple of days for the Heritage Hall product. The four-star back has narrowed his school choices to Oklahoma State, Alabama, Florida State and Stanford and he just returned from his official visit to Stanford.
He wouldn't shed light on any developments in his recruitment but he did have fun on the trip.
"It went great but I plan on making my decision in January," he said. "I'll go through a strict evaluation process later but, until then, we'll play it by ear."
The U.S. Army bowl is scheduled for Jan. 7 at noon in San Antonio, Texas, and Sanders said he plans to announce his college destination at the game.