In 2020, Ja'Tavion Sanders was out for revenge. After Denton Ryan was just one win shy of a state title in 2019, Sanders was not going to let anything stop him from winning it all during his senior season. Ultimately, Sanders was able to lead the Ryan Raiders to their first football state title since 2002. After the season, Sanders was named as a first team MaxPreps High School Football All-American.
According to 247Sports, Sanders is ranked as the nation's top athlete in the 2021 recruiting cycle. The five-star athlete has been committed to joining the Longhorns since September of 2019 and signed his National Letter of Intent last December.
Senior Season Statistics (Via: MaxPreps)
Offense: 1,161 receiving yards and 16 receiving TDs.
Defense: 12 tackles and 4 sacks.
After the 2019 season, I talked about the versatility I saw from Sanders. After 2020, my views remain unchanged. Sanders has the skillset to play multiple positions at the next level thanks to his physical traits. Furthermore, Sanders, who stands in at 6'3.5" and 235 pounds, does an excellent job of utilizing his size as both a wide receiver and a defensive end. In addition, Sanders has great ball skills, which has been best exemplified by his many one-hand catches.
Other than Ja'Tavion's size and versatility, his athleticism is something that always stands out. Despite being the size of a defensive lineman, Sanders is fast enough to play wide receiver. Also, he tends to show off his strength at wideout as he will just shove defenders right off of him after the catch.
Sanders has the talent to play on either side of the ball but, if he wants playing time on offense, he will have to work on his blocking. Usually, Sanders has lined out wide as a receiver in high school. As a result, it might take some time for Sanders to get accustomed to the tight end position, if that is where he ends up lining up in college. While not all great tight ends are fantastic blockers, it is a skill that is highly valuable for an offense.
What I See:
My sentiment remains the same, I think that Ja'Tavion has the potential to be a tremendous player for the Longhorns. The question is, will he be featured on defense or offense? During his senior year of high school, Sanders was primarily used as a wide receiver, but has greater long-term potential as a defensive end. As of now, Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian