"The way the coaches approached me and talked with me about the offense and the way it fit, that was one of the big reasons I decided to commit," Saunders said on Wednesday after announcing his verbal to West Virginia. "Everything they do in that offense, it just fits me. I am really thankful to them for the opportunity to play there.
"And the WVU fan base and the community, you just don't get any better than that," the 6-2, 200-pound quarterback continued. "The way they support the team and get behind everyone, that just really stands out."
Saunders listed West Virginia as his leader from almost the moment the Mountaineers offered a scholarship, and his trip to campus over the weekend sealed the deal. A key time on that trip came when he sat down with offensive coaches and broke down film on games. He was able to see many of West Virginia's concepts and relate them to his own experience, and in working with graduate assistant Michael Burchett, found that the match was near-perfect.
"We run a west coast style of offense at my high school, and we do it all," he explained. "I throw from both in the pocket and on rollouts, and we run it a lot too -- zone reads, triple option and quarterback runs. Whatever it takes to win, that's what we will do, and our coaches do a great job of getting us ready to play."
Asked to assess the relative strength of his running and passing, Saunders said he believed that they were about equal at this point, but did admit that he will be focusing on his accuracy and timing in the passing game in preparation for his high school senior season.
"I know that the game will be a lot faster in college, so I have to improve," he said, showing confidence in his game while also displaying the desire to get better. "I just want to win this year, help my teammates and be the best QB I can be."
Saunders has seen his interest blossom of late, with an offer from USF coming over the past couple of days and more expected in the future. While he sees those opportunities, however, he sounded strong with the West Virginia program.
"I know we get five visits, but I am 100% committed to be a Mountaineer."
Saunders is the eighth commitment in West Virginia's football recruiting Class of 2016. He joins wide receiver Marcus Simms and athlete Tyrhee Pratt as potential offensive players in the class. Pratt could also wind up on defense.West Virginia 2016 Football Verbal Commitments