football Edit

Take Two: How will battle for 5-star RB Trey Sanders play out?

Trey Sanders
Trey Sanders (Nick Lucero/

Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling a handful of issues in the college football landscape. National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the network.

CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team



Trey Sanders is rated as the second-best running back in the country and he’s the only five-star currently in the state of Florida.

The last time a running back finished No. 1 in Florida was in 2009 when Trent Richardson led the way and despite being a bust in the NFL, the former Pensacola (Fla.) Escambia star was special in high school. And he went to Alabama, where he rushed for 3,130 yards and 35 touchdowns in three seasons and finished third in the Heisman voting as a junior.

Sanders, who plays at Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy, had been committed to Alabama and it was lining up that the five-star prospect could be one of the next special running backs for the Crimson Tide. However, he has backed off that pledge and is now being pursued by almost every national power.

Miami could become a bigger player in the Sanders sweepstakes, but Alabama absolutely cannot be counted out, either, since the Crimson Tide have not backed down at all. So what makes Sanders so special and what’s the likelihood that he ends up playing at Alabama after all is said and done?


“Sanders has a rare combination of size and speed and has since he was in eighth grade. His broken commitment to Alabama was likely the product of a rushed process that saw him pledge his services to the Crimson Tide as a sophomore. He could very well still land in Tuscaloosa, but every school in the country wants in on Sanders’ recruitment. As for the top of the Florida state rankings, Akeem Dent seems like the most likely player to push Sanders and could overtake the running back should things break his way.”


“I don’t know if he will re-commit, but Alabama is going to be in the mix. You think about the big running backs, Derrick Henry, Bo Scarbrough and even Damien Harris is a thick running back, Mark Ingram, you think about guys like that who have had success at Alabama, it’s puzzling that he would commit there and then de-commit.

“I just think it’s one of those things where you commit early, you take a step back and then you look at other schools and figure out what you want to do. I don’t think it has anything to do with his lack of love for Alabama, so he could very well re-commit.

“What I like about him is he’s very powerful in his lower body, very well-built. He’s a kid who has a lot of explosion and burst. You can’t arm tackle him. He can run inside, bounce it outside and he has that extra effort once contact is made he’s going to struggle forward for more yards. He has good body lean, so everything you want in a power running back he brings to the table.

"Trent Richardson is an interesting comparison. He was stiffer and more muscled up, but I also think a little quicker. Everybody says bad things about Richardson because he wasn’t a good pro, but as a high school player he was very, very special and he went on to have a great career at Alabama. For Sanders to be in that category is pretty special as well because Richardson was an absolute beast in high school.”