2019 IL ATH Khali Saunders, “I love Michigan State”

2019 IL ATH Khali Saunders  (PHOTO:  Saunders Family)
2019 IL ATH Khali Saunders (PHOTO: Saunders Family)

2019 IL ATH Khali Saunders, “I love Michigan State”

Now that he is well into the offseason before his senior season of high school football, Elmhurst (IL) Immaculate Conception2019 ATH Khali Sanders is starting to see his recruitment pick up again and is hearing from #5 Michigan State among several other Division 1 programs.

Spartan Nation recently caught up with Saunders to talk about his recruitment and interest from the Spartans, and the 6-foot-4, 210 pound standout said that he’s enjoyed being courted by college programs and also added that he’s also received advice from his sisters, who also went through the recruiting process when they were in school.

”I like it,” he said. “When the colleges come to school and show interest, it’s very humbling that I have the opportunity to play at the college level and a lot of schools are taking a chance on my brother and I. It’s just fun to have that experience, because a lot of players don’t get to go through it and I’m very blessed and I’m enjoying it at the moment. It’s going to get rough when it comes down to making that decision, but my sisters have been through it, so they’re in my ear helping me along the way.”

So far in the recruiting process, Saunders holds six offers, including offers from Iowa State, Western Michigan, and Central Michigan.

When it comes to Michigan State, Saunders admitted that he was a little surprised by the timing of his interest from Michigan State, but said he’s happy to be hearing from the Spartans.

“I was a little surprised,” he said. “I didn’t know that the recruiting picked up this early in the year. I was waiting for summertime, getting out to camps and raising some eyebrows at a couple of camps like Michigan State or wherever we’re at. But to look at me now and I get to build that relationship - I’m happy for it, it’s definitely going to go a long way, I really appreciate it.”

Saunders also told Spartan Nation that he plans to camp at Michigan State and was going to take a visit to East Lansing this past weekend, but had a high school basketball game to play in on Saturday.

Saunders did attend a Michigan State game last fall when the Spartans were on the road at Northwestern and noted that he’s been impressed with Michigan State has been able to accomplish in recent years.

“I love Michigan State,” he said. “I saw the Northwestern-Michigan State game, I thought it was a great game and I’m really enjoying what Michigan State is doing over there. I’ve been following them since I was little so it was good watching them and seeing that.”

Saunders’ twin brother, Khalil, is also someone who has been receiving interest from the Spartans and while Khali said that while he has thought about the idea of playing alongside his brother at the college level, he believes he and his brother will make the best decision for themselves personally.

“It’s definitely a thought to play with my brother, we’ve been playing since we were little, he compliments me and picks out what I’m doing wrong and makes me better and vice versa, I make him better,” he said. “It’s definitely a thought, but at the end of the day, it’s about what’s best for him, he’s a wiz in the classroom - I’m surprised he doesn’t have any Ivy League offers right now, but he’s going to get there. Me, on the other hand, I’m not as intelligent as him, but I’m definitely looking for academics and what’s going to be best for me. But if it pans out and we both go to the same college that’s the best for both of us, that’s what we’ll do.”

As for what Saunders can do on the field, the 6-foot-4 standout said that he feels it’s his versatility and ability to play any number of positions that help him stand out as a top recruit.

“I play both ways, but I like playing defense a little more, just so I can be physical in the game and aggressive,” he said. “But I feel like I’m pretty versatile, I can go down and catch some vertical passes, I can cover in space, I can tackle in space, I can also play in the box, I can rush off the end. I just like being a versatile player and being able to play anywhere I’m called and helping the team as much as I can.”

Be sure to check back to Spartan Nation for all of the latest news on this top 2019 recruit out of the state of Illinois and the Spartans!

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