Macon, Miss., wide receiver/defensive back Vincent Sanders watched the final month of the Patrick Patterson recruiting saga and thought, "That could be me."
Sanders, who helped Patterson lead Noxubee County to the Class 4A state championship in Mississippi last season, is well on his way to being just as coveted a prospect as Patterson, who signed with Ole Miss last Wednesday.
However, the 6-foot-3, 182-pound Sanders said he's given and is giving some serious consideration to ending his recruiting long before it gets as dramatic as Patterson's did.
"In a way, I don't want it to last that long," Sanders said. "It seemed like it put a lot of pressure on. At one point, I thought about committing early. Then at another point, I thought about waiting until my 12th-grade season starts, so I really don't know right now."
Sanders already has offers from Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Alabama. He's also hearing from Auburn, Oregon, Georgia, UCLA, North Carolina, Northwestern, UAB, Stanford, Florida State and others. One school, however, clearly stands out.
"Right now, Ole Miss is No. 1 on my list," Sanders said. "They're the first school that gave me an offer. I like Alabama and (Mississippi) State, also. I just like the atmosphere (at Ole Miss). On gameday, it's so much fun. Ole Miss and Memphis was the first football game I went to, and I've been in love with it since that day. I like how the people treat you up there and they have a really good campus also."
Sanders said Patterson's decision to go to Ole Miss will likely work in the Rebels' favor.
"In a way, it could," Sanders said. "I'd like to play with him again. I enjoyed the three years I played with him. I could see us with him lining up on one side of the ball and me on the other side, just like high school. Mississippi State is recruiting me as a (defensive back), though, so I'd get a chance to cover him when Ole Miss and Mississippi State play against each other."
Unlike Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama are recruiting Sanders as a wide receiver. At this point, Sanders said, it doesn't matter.
"Right now, I'll play on either side, as long as I have the opportunity to play," said Sanders, who had eight interceptions for the Tigers last season. "
I met (new Mississippi State coach) Dan Mullen. I talked to him one time (as well as) the coach who's recruiting me, Coach (Tony) Hughes. I think they have potential to have a good program. They have a new coaching staff, so I'm just going to sit back and see how they look this year and go from there."
As for his prowess on offense, Sanders said he's "the type of receiver who feels like if I'm not out there on the field, nothing good can happen, so I'm going to try to be out there every play and give it all I've got."
Sanders plans to be busy once the camp circuit starts. He said he's planning to go to a NIKE Camp as well as camps on the campuses of Oregon, Florida State, Ole Miss, Alabama and Mississippi State. Sanders is on pace to surpass the minimum grade-point average in his core courses. He took the ACT for the first time this past Saturday.
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