The 6-2, 220-pounder with legitimate 4.5 speed is Mark Snyder’s likely replacement for Sean Porter at the SAM linebacker spot. Sanders is near the top of the list of 2013 signees capable of making an impact next season.
Considered the nation's No. 1 outside linebacker prospect from the junior college ranks, Sanders chose A&M over Ohio State, South Carolina and Mississippi State. This one didn't grab the headlines like some of the Ags’ higher-profile high school commits, but Tommy's pledge is very significant. In fact, his 11th-hour signing became even more vital to A&M’s on-field success in 2013 when JC linebacker Kenny Flowers failed to make the December grade and was no longer an option for the Ags. He ended up signing with Auburn as a May grad.
A Georgia native, Sanders stands out tape because he makes all over the field. His versatility also jumps out. There isn’t much he can’t do from his linebacker spot. Sanders reads and reacts very well when diagnosing and attacking the running game and shows excellent instincts, balance, speed and athleticism dropping into coverage. More than anything else, the Butler standout — who has three years to play two — is a disruptor.
This fall, Sanders earned Honorable Mention All-American honors after totaling 71 tackles (20 of which came behind the line of scrimmage), eight sacks and 12 pass breakups (good for second on the Butler defense). Sanders' PBU total is eye-catching and a good example of why Mark Snyder and the Aggies made him a priority target throughout the summer and fall and continued to actively recruit the versatile LB even when the numbers didn't look like they would play out in such a way that allowed them to take one final mid-term enrollee.
Stats2012: 71 tackles, 20 TFL
Honors2012: NJCAA Honorable Mention All-American