Spencer Sanders: 2018 Denton Ryan QB

Eric Nahlin

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Dec 19, 2011
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Thoreau'd on Walden
Friday I was slated to see one of the state's top quarterbacks in Waco Midway's Tanner Mordecai. On Thursday I was tipped off Mordecai wouldn't play due to injury, so I altered course to go see Denton Ryan's Spencer Sanders, yet another one of the state's top QB's. I'm glad I did.

Having seen Mordecai twice in the Spring, Sanders was a much bigger unknown to me. I had seen his sophomore film of course and I liked what I saw. I had also talked to some college coaches about him and liked what I heard. But there's nothing like seeing for yourself on a Friday night, especially when the player is going up against a fast and hard hitting team in the Lancaster Tigers.

It was only one game, but I was able to see many sides of Sanders. I saw him look effortless in warm-ups with a textbook delivery. I noticed he has what will be a rather sturdy build in college; always a good sign for a quarterback who can do damage with his feet.

Then the game started and I saw him struggle along with the rest of his team as Lancaster jumped to an early lead with the help of numerous Ryan penalties and errors. While trying to evade the rush Sanders tried to do too much and flip the ball away. Instead of a teammate or the ground, it found a Tiger and the opposite end zone. He would go on to struggle with accuracy in the first half and throw another interception. This wasn't the guy I saw warming up, and it's not the guy I saw in the second half as he and his teammates settled down.

Said Sanders, "I had a bad performance in the first half but I never give up. I don't care if I have a bad game I'm going to look at it the most positive way I can and my teammates helped pick me up and we had a great game." He continued, "We just calmed down. I was a little nervous. First game, Friday night, everybody's excited and just, I made a couple mistakes."

As he settled down so too did his teammates and Denton Ryan started stringing plays and drives together. Sanders' favorite target, junior wide receiver Gabriel Douglas, was electric with 11 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns (Douglas will receive significant recruiting attention). As their timing and accuracy improved, Ryan began to pull away.

As Sander's accuracy improved, I began to notice other traits. He illustrated pocket presence, and perhaps on his most telling play of the game, he showed toughness.

As the pocket broke down, Sanders ran right keeping his eyes downfield. Rather than running out of bounds, he turned up-field aggressively where he was met viciously by two defenders. I was standing less than ten feet away and at the very least I expected him to wait a minute to gather his thoughts, but instead he popped right up. I asked him about that play after Ryan's 35-23 win.

"Well, I grew up as a running back. I started playing quarterback my 7th grade year just because I ran a reverse and I reared up and threw a 50 yard fade and ever since then I've been playing quarterback."

That reverse put him on the fast track to becoming a big-time college recruit. Currently Sanders has 13 offers, most notably from North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Penn State, and Ole Miss.

Thus far, he's in no hurry to make a decision, and doesn't even have concrete plans to visit any schools at this time, though he will take visits this season.

"I like all colleges that have shown interest in me. That's basically all my offers. I love all my offers. It's really good to know that I'm going to go to college."

Texas has yet to offer, but they have shown interest and attempted to get him to visit for its Under the Lights camp in July. Sanders was unable to attend. TCU is also very interested in Sanders, though the Horned Frogs have yet to offer as well.

Whoever lands him is going to get a well-rounded quarterback, and a well-adjusted and composed young man. If forced to make a comparison, he reminds me of a bigger, stronger, and perhaps more athletic Shane Buechele, at least at this same stage in their development. Someone reputable said, "Buechele, with some JT Barrett."

As the process wears on it will be interesting to see where Sanders begins to lean. A&M already has a quarterback for 2018, as does Oklahoma. It will be interesting to see if TCU and Texas throw its hat in the ring.

When it comes to 2018 quarterbacks, Spencer Sanders is not only one of the best in the state but also the country. Look for his rating to rise and for him to threaten cracking into the National Top 100.

Along the way, he'll lead Ryan to many more victories just like the one on Friday.
 
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Ghost

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Sanders will definitely be one to keep close eye on as the Texas staff continues to evaluate the 2018 QB's.
 

btown1110

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Early prediction: Sanders to TCU, Mordecai to UT.

A&M and OU already having 2018 QB's from way outside the region make things even easier for other regional schools.
Those guys are going to play themselves out of the state if they keep that type of stuff up.

I could live with Mordecai, though Sanders at TCU is not fun to think about. Looking forward to seeing Tanner's film in the next few weeks.
 
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Jdhmills

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Early prediction: Sanders to TCU, Mordecai to UT.

A&M and OU already having 2018 QB's from way outside the region make things even easier for other regional schools.
That A&M take is a head scratcher. From what I can tell he is no better than what's available in state, taking a QB with not ties to instate recruits and who is not better than instate options seems like a poor choice.
 

Jdhmills

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Just wait until Coach Jim Turner gets his hands on him... Oh wait wrong position.
Your thinking of Mazzone (****weird animal nickname for an old fat man spending) best QB eye and coach in the bidness!

Note to A&M fans who have participated civilly so far - this is not directed at you, but the weird childish moderator who insists on using bizarre nicknames like cobra and chief for your coaches in his "Journalistic Pursuits".
 
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CaliHorniaBoy

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Sanders sounds like a total stud. Is he at Heard's former HS or Mario Edward's?

Being able to bounce back from a rough start during a game should NEVER be overlooked. Great players/competitors don't get discouraged.
 

Justin Wells

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Sanders sounds like a total stud. Is he at Heard's former HS or Mario Edward's?

Being able to bounce back from a rough start during a game should NEVER be overlooked. Great players/competitors don't get discouraged.
Edwards.
 

Eric Nahlin

Recruiting Editor
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Dec 19, 2011
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Thoreau'd on Walden
What are your thoughts on Mordecai from a talent perspective?
He has tons of physical upside. Stronger arm than Sanders while having a good release himself and probably quicker/faster on the move. What I don't have a great feel for is his mental traits. I've only seen him in very controlled scrimmages. I feel like Sanders can beat you with his arm, legs, or head.

I'd love to see Mordecai on the 9th versus Temple and Taquon Graham.
 

matt103455

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I'm biased because I live in Denton, but I hope Sanders is the guy for UT in 2018.
 

Horn18

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That A&M take is a head scratcher. From what I can tell he is no better than what's available in state, taking a QB with not ties to instate recruits and who is not better than instate options seems like a poor choice.
A&M really needs a recruiter on staff with strong Texas ties. Their team is basically comprised of out-of-state talent and transfers. This is not a sustainable business model for a football program. OHHH WEELLL.