For a guy who feels the recruiting pull in several directions, Zebrie Sanders is handling football recruiting rather well. Consider this: the big (6-6, 275) offensive tackle lives in Ohio (Clayton, attends Northmont High School), has a mother who went to school at Georgia and he’s got family that lives in California. Even with all these distractions and family tugs, Sanders has a pretty good idea where he’s going to go to school next year.
There are three schools that have a clear lead on the rest of the pack that’s recruiting him and one of those three sits in the driver’s seat. Knowing there is one team to beat and getting Sanders to admit which one, however, is another problem altogether.
“I pretty much have a decision made of where I want to go, maybe 67 percent sure,” Sanders said. “I want to take my visits to be sure. I will probably call the school in the middle of the season and tell them where I am going and then announce it after the season.”
It’s a three-horse race but in addition to the three, he might take a couple of other visits.
“I am definitely narrowing it down,” he said about the logjam of schools. “UCLA has been showing me a lot of interest and is going to offer me soon. I love UCLA, I love Georgia, and I love Florida. Those are the top three, I like Michigan and Clemson as well.”
He has a had a good summer and been using his athletic skills on more than just football.
“My summer has been going great,” he said. “I just went to Jamaica for a week. I went with my aunt and uncle. We went to a resort. We went ATVing and I actually climbed a waterfall about 30 feet high.”
“I went to L.A for the USC rising star camp. It was great. All the best talent in the country was there. I got to compete against the best players in the country.”
Sanders was looking forward to one more opportunity to go against the best, but a scheduling glitch has kayoed that.
“I was invited to Friday Night Lights in Florida but I won’t make it,” he said. “The only reason is it will be the first practice for our team. I am trying to step up and be a leader, so I need to be here.”
Sanders talked a little bit about his top three.
UCLA: “I just love the lights and the big city. The campus was really nice. It was on top of hills and the weight room was state of the art and really nice. I felt really comfortable with the coaches.”
GEORGIA: “They are the first school that offered me. I went down there for the Georgia Tech game and the crowd was electrifying for all four quarters. The University is huge and the whole town knows the players and all about football. I also like Coach (Mark) Richt and the offensive line coach.”
FLORIDA: “I really like the Gators too. The only two schools I grew up knowing about were Georgia and Florida. I like the winning and the tradition. I like that they had the top recruiting class for the last two years and I want to play with some of the top players. I like that they play in the SEC, the best conference in America.
“They see me as a left tackle and they think I can be competitive and play early. Coach (Urban) Meyer says I can play early too. They use the spread a lot and my school is actually a spread team. I think it would be an easy transition to that offense.
“My mom jokes around with Coach Hevesy because she went to Georgia and the schools are big rivals. I will probably visit for the Auburn or Tennessee game.”
Sanders hinted that there are a couple of factors that will have a big say in the final decision.
“Academics and location are big things for me,” he said. “The tradition and winning record are also big for me.”
The cat isn’t out of the bag just yet, but three programs will start to wonder and recruit Zebrie Sanders that much harder, now that they might be the one he is focusing on. Whoever wins the battle will get a long and lean tackle that can dig in the trenches or roll with the zone running game. Sanders is a great one.