According to Bradley Central coach Damon Floyd, Austin Sanders showed up on the Vols radar thanks to one of his high school teammates. "Tennessee was recruiting one of our wide receivers James Stovall, who is now with the Naval Academy. Came down to watch some film on James. I asked them to take a look at this kid, Austin Sanders. They watched about three or four snaps of his and realized that he was a pretty good player. The way recruiting is now, they want to see them at their one day camp. He went up to their one day camp, and they really liked him. And the rest was history."
And once Tennessee offered, Sanders quickly accepted.
"I mean right then and there, I knew I didn't want to go anywhere else. Tennessee was just the place I wanted to be."
Sanders verbally committed to Tennessee last August, and yet he still has one more year of high school football to go.
"I have been committed there for so long. It's just like. I keep feeling like maybe tomorrow I'll be going to Tennessee or maybe the next day I'll be going to Tennessee. But my mind is not really all stuck on that because I still have to play for Bradley."
The 6-6, 300-pound Sanders has been a force on the Bears offensive line. Said Floyd, "I think at the high school level, he is probably a better run blocker right now because he is so dominating, and he's so much stronger than his opponents. But he's obviously got the potential, as good as feet as he has, to be able to pass block just as well."
Tennessee didn't sign any offensive lineman last February, so Sanders should have an opportunity to shine next season. "They want me to play my freshman year. If that's what they want me to do, then that's what I'm most likely going to do."
Sanders can't wait to run through "T", but he's in no hurry to sing the Vols unofficial fight song.
"I'm not going to sing it for you, but yeah I know them.(lyrics) I don't want to bring out my voice just yet. Trying out for American Idol."(chuckles)>