July 10, 2009

Sanders' wild summer beginning to wind down

Vincent Sanders' ranking is set to change soon.

So are his plans.

Sanders, who has had a summer full of seven-on-seven tournaments and an eye-opening camp experience at Southern Cal, had originally planned to attend one-day camps at Mississippi State and Ole Miss later this month. On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 182-pound wide receiver from Macon (Noxubee County), Miss., said now he's not so sure he'll make those trips to Starkville and Oxford.

"Earlier that was my plan, but right now, I'm going to try to get my body rested up for the season," Sanders said. "I might change my mind and end up going to them. I missed State's 7-on-7 camp and I want to get over there."

Sanders only scheduled trip for the remainder of the summer is an Aug. 1 return trek to Tuscaloosa to give his sister a chance to see one of his clear favorites. Sanders, who is also considered an elite-level defensive back prospect, went to a 7-on-7 camp at Alabama earlier this summer and got a chance to speak to some of the Crimson Tide's coaching staff.

"We played four games and won three, so we had a pretty good day," Sanders said. "I talked to Coach (Nick) Saban and (recruiting coordinator/wide receivers) Coach (Curt) Cignetti. They told me they think I'm a good player, they'd like to have me as a part of their team and they really want me."

The highlight of Sanders' summer, however, was the trip to Los Angeles earlier this summer and a breakout performance at a recent 7-on-7 tournament in Jackson, Miss.

"I had a decent day at the (USC) camp," Sanders said. "I had the highest vertical jump there (37 inches). I learned a lot of new stuff. It gave me an opportunity to play against talent from the West Coast and see how good I really was and stuff like that."

Sanders is ranked by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 25 wide receiver and the No. 146 overall prospect. However, the network's recruiting staff recently indicated Sanders' spots in those rankings are likely going to jump soon.

"At the Super Jamboree Showcase in Mississippi - an event that was loaded with talented teams and players - Sanders set himself apart," Rivals.com recruiting analysts wrote. "He showed that he has red zone ability by snagging a jump ball in the end zone while also showing big-play ability on multiple occasions. Any time the ball was thrown his way, Sanders made it count."

Sanders believes his stock is rising in part because of his strong summer and also due to a closer analysis by coaches and recruiting analysts alike of his junior season, one in which he and former Noxubee County wide receiver Patrick Patterson led the school to the Class 4A state championship.

"It could be both," Sanders said. "If you pay attention, I go hard every play and I give it my all. A lot of people see that I'm a playmaker and I'm able to make plays when my team needs me."

As for favorites, Sanders insists he doesn't have one yet. Sanders has offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Mississippi, Tennessee and others, but he's still talking to other programs and appears receptive to expanding his options for awhile.

"I'm pretty much still wide open," Sanders said. "I'm trying to not have favorites. Pretty much every day it changes. One day it's Mississippi State on top of the list. The next day it's Alabama. Right now I'm still open and I'm trying to get more offers. I talked to Texas Tech (Wednesday) night. I've talked to Miami and North Carolina. After I get all of my offers, I'll narrow down my schools."

Sanders said Ole Miss remains very much in the running for his services. He said he hasn't talked to Patterson since his former teammate arrived in Oxford for the second session of summer school. The friends have only exchanged some messages on the social network Facebook.com.

"Ole Miss is still at the top of my list," Sanders said. "I've got a lot of love for them. They were the first team to offer me. They've got a great program and a great coaching and one of my ex-teammates just signed up. I'll talk to him about it."

Sanders, who said he'll take the ACT for the first time in September, said he doesn't have a plan regarding announcing a commitment. Patterson and another former teammate, Mississippi State signee Deontae Skinner, waited until National Signing Day to announce their plans. Skinner might do that as well, but he's not making that decision yet.

"Right now, I've got it made up in my mind that whenever I feel I'm ready to commit to somebody, that's when I'll do it," Skinner said. "But you only get to go through the recruiting process one time. Honestly, it's going to depend on the season we have. If we're winning, I might wait, but if we're struggling and it's a distraction, I might get it over with so I can focus on my team and our season."

Sanders said he plans to spend Saturdays this fall on college campuses. Specifically, he said he wants to go to home games at Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama this fall before making a decision.

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