Many of this years seniors have made their marks in the UB Record books, and most have been a huge part of UB Climbing out of the cellar of the MAC. John Sanders is not one of those players. Sanders has played sparingly while at Buffalo spending most of his time on special teams.What makes Sanders a compelling addition to 'So Long Seniors'is the path he took to get here.
In addition to maintaining a pretty demanding job and playing some solid football (All County) Sanders was one of the best wrestlers in Florida while at Fort Pierce Central High. His prowess on the matt garnered him a scholarship offer with Boston College.
Unfortunately for John academic issues prevented him from enrolling at BC. Where many kids would give up John fought back even harder. Taking a very long road to his dream of a degree and college football.
Sanders went onto play at Dodge City Community College but the distance from home and family was an obstacle to his success. Eventually Sanders ended up as an assistant for Benny Hinn traveling Europe for a half year while his brother, UB Alumni Richard Sanders, worked as Hinn's body guard.
John came to Western New York where his brother introduced him to Demeris Johnson, the vice president and director of sports training at Thurman Thomas Sports Training. Johnson took Sanders into his home and let him train that the work class facilities that TTS Training offered.
Sanders enrolled at ECC in 2008 now a sophomore Sanders needed to get academically eligible for Division one in a year, that involved 48 credits of work.
As someone who has taken 21+ credit house in a semester I can attest to just how much it takes out of a person. To do that, and football, is more than I can imagine.
When UB get into injury problems before the 2009 season Turner Gill, on a tip from Rich Sanders, asked if John would mind filling as a defensive back.
"He (Gill) asked if he could play corner and I told him he will play any position you want him to." -- Richard Sanders
Sanders got his first action against the team that would have been his first choice, UCF.
"I went out there and just lit somebody up, It was a great feeling, I had a lot of family and friends there, kids I played with and against in high school. It was a real good feeling." -- John Sanders
Coach Quinn, impressed with Sanders' work effort offered him a scholarship for his final year:
"It was a blessing to me, my parents back home and my big brother Rich. It showed me that all these obstacles that you have you can't ever give up. Hard work really does pay off. All I needed was a chance and I got it when I came here." -- John Sanders