Shilo Sanders could potentially be a very interesting story in the Class of 2019 — thanks to both his name and the game which accompanies it.
Sanders, at 6 feet and 187 pounds, has the ideal size to play cornerback in the SEC.
He also has an offer from Georgia and enjoyed his trip to G-Day.
“As soon as I stepped into the stadium, I was amazed at how many people were there,” Sanders told DawgNation. “It was crazy. Everyone was hype. It was a great experience.”
He was bounding all over Sanford Stadium and fed off the crowd’s energy.
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“I definitely plan on returning to UGA for another visit,” Sanders said. “The first time the hospitality was off the charts and I had a great time with the coaches and players. One day doesn’t do it any justice.”
Can he envision himself playing in front of that crowd?
“I could surely see myself playing between the hedges.”
Could that happen? We’ll watch closely.
According to the figures maintained by the splendid database at 247Sports, he’s one of 28 cornerbacks in the Class of 2019 with a Bulldogs offer.
Georgia already has a gem of a corner committed in Dacula’s Jalen Perry and will likely sign only 1-2 more corners, if that many, in this cycle.
Established names such as 5-star cornerback Andrew Booth (the nation’s No. 2 prospect at that position) and South Florida stalwarts Rique Stevenson and Kaiir Elam will receive strong consideration for the class if they want to play in Athens.
Could there be room in the class for Sanders? That will depend on his game more than his last name. He currently ranks as the nation’s No. 130 cornerback in the 247Sports 2019 composite.
The suggestion here is he’s clearly better than that. He will be properly evaluated this summer and fall. The fact he was offered by UGA is evidence that he’s a lot better than No. 130 nationally.
Nonetheless, Sanders realizes he has some work to do. When asked about his recruiting attention so far, he displayed a mature approach.
“Fair but understandable,” he said.
Nebraska and Oregon are the other power programs on his offer list. How did he feel about the Georgia offer?
“I was very appreciative, thankful and challenged,” he said.
He will also place a lot of importance on his senior season at Trinity Christian in Cedar Hill, Texas.
“I’m not really focused on my college decision at the moment,” he said. “I have a huge season ahead of me and I have been working and working so I can be ready to perform at the highest level possible.”
I remember a BET interview with his father from years ago. The subject of a segment on Deion Sanders covered his college recruiting. Florida State was the famous choice there and Sanders went on to win the Jim Thorpe Award and a forge a career arc that has very few peers in college and pro football.
Georgia, unbeknownst to many, was the runner-up there behind the Seminoles. Vince Dooley and his staff were heavily recruiting Sanders in the class of 1985.
He ultimately chose the Seminoles because of location, playing time and the food in the cafeteria.
“That is definitely true,” Shilo Sanders said about that Georgia connection. “He told me that over the phone while I was at UGA.”
The younger Sanders has an interesting viewpoint about being the son of an NFL icon who redefined the position to a new generation of players. Is that a good thing? Bad thing?
“I think it is a blessing, a burden and a great resource,” Shilo Sanders said. “I understand that because of my last name people and players will always come at me 100 percent. So I always have to be mentally and physically prepared to dominate.
“My Dad helps out a lot with that. He tells me what to expect and how to deal with it because he’d done it before. The great thing is that I got the cornerback genes passed down to me.”
He used the following descriptors to break down the way he plays the position: Aggressive. Calculating. Controlled. Energetic. Physical.
Sanders is close with 4-star Texas safety Lewis Cine. DawgNation regards Cine as one of the top players on the entire board for UGA in 2019.
The nation’s No. 3 safety and No. 43 overall recruit was with Sanders at G-Day. Shedeur Sanders, his younger brother and a dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2021, also went.
Cine and Shilo Sanders do chat about playing together.
“Lewis and I could definitely be playing in college together,” Sanders said. “If that is the best decision for both of us, then it is possible.”
Sanders also has an ear for music. He describes himself as a music producer. That’s what he does in his free time.
Cine and Sanders also grew up playing with E.J. Smith, the son of Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith. E.J. Smith visited UGA last fall and came back for G-Day.
Cine saw how much his friend Shilo enjoyed his time at G-Day.
“This man was in awe yesterday,” Lewis Cine said the day after G-Day. “He was in awe. He kept saying ‘man’ and ‘yeah, man’ and he was smiling and cheesing and joking around. Shilo felt comfortable in that environment.”
Will they play together?
“We’ll have to talk about that,” Cine said. “We will have to see what happens there. That’s the talk. Shilo talks about wanting to play together but we will have to see.”