Miami sleeper emerges

Miami (Fla.) Carol City athlete Robert Sands was one of the most impressive prospects at the Miami NIKE Camp on April 1 in Coral Gables, Fla. He still is waiting on his first scholarship offer, but is getting plenty of looks and there are several programs that have his attention.
"A lot of schools are showing interest," he said. "I get letters every day in weight training. I like Miami, Florida, Florida State, Michigan and then between Auburn, Louisville and Tennessee."
At this point, Sands is wide open, but admits a preference for staying in the Sunshine State.
"I want to stay in Florida, but if I fit into a scheme outside of Florida, I will go there," he said. "I like to travel."
In-state, the local school has the edge.
"I like Miami a lot because my role model goes there Kenny Phillips," he said.
Early playing time and type of defense are important to Sands, who wants to play safety at the next level.
"I'm looking for a defense that I can fit in their scheme, that right away I can go in start and play," he said.
The 6-foot-5, 197-pounder worked out at his position of preference during the camp and though many felt he actually projects better as a wide receiver in college, Sands played well at safety. He was good in coverage during the one-on-one drills.
"I did good (at the camp)," he said. "We had a lot of competition and I love competition. It was real fun."
Sands has set several goals for himself for the 2007 season.
"I want more than 150 tackles at safety, five interceptions or more and I want to get bigger and stronger so when I get to college, I won't get run over by a running back," he said. "When you get to the next level, everybody is big, strong and fast and I want to step in and compete."
Sands, who has been timed as fast as 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash, competes in the triple jump and long jump for the Carol City track team. He talked about the athletic program at his high school, which has produced its share of football talent over the years, and what it meant to him.
"We work hard every day in the weight room," he said. "You grow up with these guys and work hard with them so they become like family."