Tennessee picked up its 19th commitment for the class of 2013 on Wednesday when Georgia defensive lineman Joe Sanders committed to Coach Derek Dooley.
“I committed tonight because I had it made up in my mind that I wanted to go to Tennessee,” Sanders told the AJC. “I liked the atmosphere, the coaches, and how they push you once you’re down there.”
“I’ve heard things, but I haven’t really looked into it,” Sanders said when asked about the Derek Dooley rumors. “Coach Dooley hasn’t said anything about that (the topic), so it doesn’t mean that much.”
Listed around 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, Sanders projects as a pass rushing defensive end in Tennessee’s 3-4 defense and is the third defensive lineman to commit in this class (Ben Bradley, Jason Carr).
Sanders attended summer camp at Tennessee and plans to make an unofficial visit to Knoxville this weekend for the Vols’ matchup against Missouri, which will be his first game day experience at Neyland Stadium.
His other offers include: Colorado, Indiana, Vanderbilt, UCF, Alabama St., South Alabama, and Western Kentucky.
Sanders was recruited primarily by Derrick Ansley and is considering a possible early enrollment at Tennessee.
RECRUITING SERVICE RATINGS:
ESPN: 3-star, No. 91 in GA, Scouts Grade of 76
24/7: 3-star, No. 96 in GA
Rivals: not rated (likely not evaluated)
Sanders is a kid with very nice natural size. He possesses great height and carries good bulk on his long frame and still looks pretty lean around 270 and should be able to pack on some more good mass with further physical development.
If he stays on defense he displays a good get-off, but needs to be more consistent as he shows a good burst at times, but at others times there is a delay in his first step. He needs to watch his pad level as he is a tall kid who can get high, but he does a fairly good job of firing out low and can get his pads under the blockers pads. With his size he can handle blockers at his current level, but at the next level he will need to improve his hand usage and do a better job of creating separation. He leads a lot with the shoulder and while he can gain leverage, it does not make it easy for him to play off blocks. Displays adequate short-area change-of-directions skills as well as range. As a pass rusher he will get his hands up and can block throwing lanes. With his ability to fire out low and get to half-a-man he can create pressure if he will further develop the rip move and also has bull rush potential.
NOOGA.COM ANALYSIS FROM DANIEL LEWIS:
Sanders’ strength appears to be good, though not overwhelming considering the size advantage he has on many of the blockers he takes on. He will need to work on staying lower and needs to use his hands and his pass-rush moves better. He often dips a shoulder into a pass blocker instead of engaging him with his hands and getting him off of him quickly. That won’t work against SEC offensive linemen.
Sanders is a good looking high school player, but he’ll have a lot of work to do at the next level. You can’t teach size, though. He’s got a lot of that for his age and position.