Saunders Names New Top Five

Riverside (Durham, NC) 3-star athlete Weslye Saunders is one of the most versatile players in the Tar Heel State this year. The 6'5, 270 pound jumbo-athlete played quarterback, tight end, defensive end, defensive tackle, and even linebacker at times in leading his team to the state championship game, but this week he is showcasing his skills at the 70th annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.



Saunders, who projects as either a tight end or defensive tackle at the college level, has started out the week of practice playing along the defensive line.

"It's going pretty good actually," said Saunders. "It's just a transition for me, playing the little 3-4 scheme. I'm playing a little defensive tackle and D-end, so it's a little different for me. I'm just trying to work my way into it and see how things go. I kind of wanted to play tight end, but I guess the coaches put me where they need me."

Saunders stated that the speed and intensity of the Shrine Bowl workouts are at a different level than regular high school games.

"It's a little more intense, being that everybody out here can play. They wouldn't be out here if they couldn't, whereas in high school you have about three or four outstanding players on a team. It's like the whole team is good out here, so it's a little more fast paced."

The Tar Heel State standout finds himself on the opposite sideline from one of his good friends this week, as he and Sandlapper Mark Barnes have kept in touch throughout the recruiting process.

"Yeah, Mark Barnes is my boy. We try to tease each other a little bit, because he's on that side, and I'm on this side. We're both trash talking, but it's all in good fun because that's my boy."

As far as the recruiting process goes, Saunders currently claims a top five list of schools.

"Recruiting is going pretty good. I'm just trying to take my time and narrow my schools down. I think I have a pretty good idea of my top four or five schools. Wake Forest, Florida State, South Carolina, North Carolina, and definitely Louisville are all in there."

Saunders, who is being recruited by the Gamecocks as a tight end, was scheduled to make an official visit to South Carolina on December 1, but after his playoff game got delayed a day due to inclement weather, he was forced to reschedule that visit.

"Yeah, I've rescheduled my South Carolina visit for the 12th of January. I‘ll be going down there in the middle of January."

With a number of visits still ahead of him, Saunders doesn't have an exact idea of when he will be ready to make a decision.

"I want to make my decision before signing day, but I have no clue when. It's still up in the air."

Lastly, Saunders listed off a couple of important factors that he will be looking for when deciding on his college choice.

"I've got to be cool with the coaching staff. They've got to have good academics at the school. I have to know that I'm going to get my degree no matter what if football doesn't go well. Basically that's it, the academics and the coaching staff."

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