SES Reflections: Malik Sanders
After receiving scholarship offers from 16 different programs, Malik Sanders of Greenville recently committed to play football at Northwest Community College next fall.
In the end it came down to Delta State, a school he was previously committed to, and NWCC. Basically, the decision he found most difficult was to go straight to a senior college or go to a junior college and be recruited again in two years.
“After talking with my parents and praying, I felt my talent now plus two years at a JUCO will be the best thing,” Sanders told SES Mississippi. “The hard part was just turning down four years of school.
“It will give me time to develop on and off the field. Also, it gives me a chance at getting recruited all over again from big time schools.”
It’s obvious why the Northwest football program, led by Benjy Parker, would attract a prospective athlete. In 2015 the Rangers won the NJCAA National Championship. This past season they finished 9-3, with two losses coming at the hands of East Mississippi and another to Trinity Valley in the C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl.
“The coaching staff really stood out to me,” Sanders explained. “A home visit with coach (Jonathan)Webster sealed the deal.
“Me and my family love the way the program is running right now. I can’t wait to get down there.”
Sanders says he sees himself as a nice fit for the defensive system in Senatobia. He also likes what is returning from last year’s unit.
“I fit well. They run a little bit of cover two and four with two high safeties. I can be aggressive,” He said. “I can move all over in the secondary. I can play nickel, outside and a little bit of safety.
“We already have some more big time defensive linemen coming back that can pressure the quarterback. For a DB that sounds like fun.”
Looking back at the process of being recruited, Sanders walks away with the same feelings as many others. There were parts he enjoyed, and parts he did not. Overall, he is just glad to have such a difficult decision behind him.
“The coaches really show you all the great points about their school,” Sanders noted. “The fun part about it is that you get to travel a little bit and meet some great coaches and players at the next level.”
Throughout his career, Sanders feels he improved his game “all over.” That includes getting bigger and stronger over the past season, especially. He’s most thankful for three things: God, his parents and his coaches, for him get to this point.
According to the talented defender his favorite moment of his senior season is getting to go up against 2018 Mississippi State receiver commitment Malik Heath of Callaway.
When asked what advice he would give to those younger than him, he responded with three things.
“Keep God first, never give up on your dreams and enjoy the process,” Sander said.
**Photo by Tyrone Johnson