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Miles to Go

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When describing Woodland Hills junior running back Miles Sanders, recruiting pundits, WPIAL coaches and high school football writers typically use superlatives like “fast,” “talented,” and “explosive,” or descriptive phrases such as “big-playmaker” and “player to lose sleep over.”

After rushing for 1,163 yards and 17 touchdowns, while averaging 8.3 yards-per-carry, Sanders finds himself ranked as the top junior in Pennsylvania and the third-best tailback in the nation by Rivals.com. It’s not hard, then, to see why such high praise has been attributed to the 5-11,200-pound Wolverine.

Ask Woodland Hills coach George Novak the same question to describe his star player, and you see a stoic face suddenly lighten up as he utters the simple words, “He’s a good kid.”

Sanders will enter his senior year with over 30 college programs vying for his services in 2016, including Ohio State, Florida State, Auburn, Notre Dame, Michigan, Miami, Pitt and West Virginia. Sanders, though, is focused on one team and one team only: The Penn State Nittany Lions.

Sanders verbally committed to first-year Penn State coach James Franklin last July, two months before his junior season even began.

Why Penn State?

Since childhood, Sanders said he had always wanted to go to Florida, but he decided on the Nittany Lions because of its proximity to his family, his comfort with the coaching staff and the educational opportunities provided by Penn State.

Sanders has already started to forge friendships with Saquon Barkley, a 2015 commit from eastern Pennsylvania, and two fellow 2016 verbals, defensive end Shane Simmons of Maryland and New York quarterback Jake Zembiec.

Sanders plans to follow in the footsteps of his mother, who is a property manager, by studying business and/or sports management.

Penn State’s current class is ranked by most services as anywhere from a top 10 to top 10 class this year, the program’s first since the NCAA lifted recruiting sanctions in place after the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Adam Friedman believes that Sanders will be a great asset for Penn State because of his speed, ability to run in between tackles as well as sweep from the outside. Friedman also thinks Sanders can be a threat at receiver position.

Novak and his Woodland Hills coaching staff are already preparing Sanders and the rest of the Wolverines for the upcoming season.

“Get better on defense and consistent on offense,” said Novak.

Sanders is preparing for next season—and hi future at Penn State—by hitting the weight room as well as speed training.

“This is the hardest year I’ve had,” said Sanders, who is also preparing for college by taking harder classes and getting ready for March’s SAT’s.

Sanders cannot officially sign a binding letter of intent with Penn State until February 2016, but he’s happy to have his recruiting behind him so he can concentrate on high school.

"I know Penn State is the place for me," Sanders said.

 

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