Tanner Sanders (Corvallis, Ore./Crescent Valley) went up for a rebound. Coming down with the ball, he landed awkwardly. He rolled his ankle and was forced about two weeks of the basketball season.
The injury also forced the 6-foot-5, 200-pound athlete to miss Washington’s Feb. 9 junior day.
“I’ve been recovering from (the injury) and I had a physical therapy appointment I had to go to, so I couldn’t make it,” Sanders said.
Capable of playing quarterback, receiver or defensive back -- he could also bulk up and play tight end -- Sanders has already landed scholarship offers from Oregon State and San Diego State.
While he missed Washington’s junior day, he plans to visit the campus soon. He is also receiving interest from programs like Boise State, BYU, Stanford and Arizona State. The interest is proof he is headed in the right direction.
“It’s huge,” Sanders said. “It just makes me feel like all the hard work is starting to pay off by the time your junior year comes. They’re inviting you to go see the campus, be involved and talk to you about what they’re doing in the program. It’s awesome.”
He has accomplished a lot so far, but he isn’t satisfied yet.
“Once one school comes, you’re like, ‘You know, I can push myself to get a couple more,’” Sanders said. “It’s just a huge cycle where you’re pushing yourself to the point where you want every school in the country to be talking to you. I know it sounds a little ridiculous, but that’s the frame you have to have -- you want to get noticed by everybody.”
When asked about how he can continue to attract attention, Sanders said, “Pretty much just not taking days off, keep a clear head and get work done on and off the field, especially with these big schools recruiting me. They want good grade point averages, so you’ve got to have good ethics in the classroom as well as on the field on Friday nights.”
After missing four games, Sanders hopes to be healthy enough to return to the basketball floor Friday in time to play rival Corvallis High School.
“It was a little frustrating,” he said. “I had to stick to upper-body workouts for a while. I got out of the boot last week and I’m starting to get better. I might be playing toward the end of this week and get back to training again. I’m looking forward to that.”