Oklahoma State quarterback commitment and Denton Ryan standout quarterback is on the way back again from ACL surgery. He is expecting to be better than ever and don't be surprised if he is.
Last week on Friday in Stillwater Mike Gundy and his Oklahoma State coaching staff hosted their annual spring coaches clinic with some 148 coaches there to hear presentations by the Cowboy staff and also some outstanding coaches in Oklahoma and Texas. One of the Texas high school coaches there with his staff was Denton Ryan head coach Dave Henigan. Last season the Ryan Raiders were on their way to the Class 5A Division I State Championship Game when Ryan's star quarterback and Oklahoma State commitment for the 2018 class had several Highland Park defenders jump on his back and his right knee buckled resulting in a torn ACL. It was the second ACL surgery as Sanders had previously torn the the ligament in the left knee. Henigan said he was pleased to report that Sanders rehab was going well and he was ahead of schedule. Tuesday night we caught up with the 6-2, 190 pound quarterback, who confirmed things are going well, but he is being careful to make sure he will be ready to make another championship run with his Ryan teammates this fall.
"I'm just taking it one step at a time and moving along," said Sanders, who caught a couple of fish earlier on the early spring evening. "I'm not moving too fast or doing anything that could get me hurt, so I couldn't play."
ACL surgeries have come a long way. Doctors will tell you that after surgery now the damaged knee can actually be stronger than before the injury.
"I moved on from last physical therapist with actually my most recent surgery, the bad leg was stronger than the other one," Sanders added saying he has experience on his side with this comeback. He's done it before. "Yes, I kind of know what to expect to help myself and move myself forward."
Sanders committed to Oklahoma State last year early in the season and said it worked out. He also had offers from Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, North Carolina, Mississippi, North Texas, Penn State, SMU, South Carolina, TCU, Texas A&M, and Texas Tech. He has 8,799-yards of total offense and 102 combined touchdowns in his prep career. Last season he threw for 3,258-yards with 38 touchdowns and just five interceptions, while rushing for 1,099-yards and 18 touchdowns. His relationship and having the security of the commitment to Oklahoma State has worked out.
"Yes sir, I'm really confident in that school, really confident in what they do," he said of Oklahoma State and his recruiting coach in OSU offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich. "I feel they are really confident in me."
Back to Henigan, I told him about contacting Sanders a few weeks ago when I was down in Frisco for Nike's The Opening Regional and kind of feeling bad for Sanders missing that event.
"He's not really into the camps," Henigan had said.
It reminded me of the Cowboys current starting quarterback in Mason Rudolph, who never attended those events before his senior season stating it was more important for him to throw to his receivers and not somebody else's. It paid off for a state championship.
"He's correct," Sanders said of Rudolph. "It builds chemistry and if you are going to throw a fade to a guy then you are going to know that he is going to be at this point when you throw it. You know how to throw the right pass to the right guy, whether it is a bullet or you throw it up so he can go get it."
Not bad to see that those two quarterbacks have similar attitudes. Another part of Sander's attitude is his expectations for when he is completely cleared and back to doing everything on the football field, a moment that should come later this spring. Sanders expectation...
"to be better."