Sanders is ready to lead Oklahoma to new heights

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Spencer Sanders has entered his fourth year as the Oklahoma State quarterback and is happy with where he is.

“Family, the culture, I love the men that surround them,” Sanders said Saturday on the Cowboys season media day. “I’ve fallen in love with every group they’ve joined since I’ve been here. I love my five buddies up front. I love running, all my receivers. I even love the other side of the ball. We are all friends on this team.”

The young man in red from Denton, Texas, has made 32 starts for the Cowboys, 10 more than any of his teammates on offense. His 24 wins as a starting quarterback is the third in the history of the program that has produced NFL quarterbacks Brandon Wyden and Mason Rudolph. Last season, Sanders joined Wieden as the only player in the school’s history to earn first-team recognition in all conferences after leading the Cowboys to the National Ranking No. 7.

Sanders is also one of only two players in Oklahoma State history to record more than 6,000 passing yards and 1,500 rushing yards. His experience and success in football’s top position is a big reason for Oklahoma State – exiting the 12-2 season that ended in a Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame – high expectations for the 2022 season.

Fortunately for the cowboys, Sanders doesn’t think the grass is greener anywhere else.

He said, “I got all together the first year I was here – I felt so welcome. I’m excited to be here. If I don’t want to be here, I won’t. This is where I want to be. This is where I have to be.” “.

In 2019, Sanders set a freshman record at Oklahoma State with 2,065 passing yards for 16 touchdowns, a 628 yard dash and two stars, and was named Big 12 Conference offensive player of the year despite missing the last two games through injury. He missed two full games and two important parts of two other games in 2020, but still finished with 2,007 yards, 14 pass touchdowns, 269 yards and two touchdowns.

Last season, he was a young attacking announcer who has steadily improved, finishing 2,839 yards, 20 touchdowns, 668 yards and 10 touchdowns. His attack total of 3,507 yards and his attacking average per game of 269.8 yards led him both in the Big 12.

Coach Mike Gundy, who himself was a regular quarterback at OSU for four years in the ’80s, appreciates what he has in Sanders.

“There is no substitute for experience and actors,” Gundy said. “He’s really good at what we’re doing. He can run any game in our system. All of our really fast plays – I think we have 47 of them – he can manage without training at this point, in my opinion. We have a really minor offense, except for the quarterback. Quarterback takes time. Once they get it, all of a sudden they get better.

“Playing in the middle is now more difficult than it was when I played so this experience is really important. And it’s tough. He got hit. He got hit, so he got it and he’s fine.”

His colleagues say Sanders’ leadership and skill set are invaluable.

“Having a guy with experience who knows how to push a team and who knows how to win games like this strengthens everyone around him,” said wide starter Bryson Green. “There is a comfort level coming back from a man who has been in situations you haven’t been in before. He can guide you on the right path.”

Dominic Richardson, a sophomore who was due to be a dip in the Oklahoma primary, said the quick Sanders taught him a thing or two about running.

“It’s very explosive,” Richardson said. “He’s definitely a double threat. He has it all and isn’t afraid of getting hit. He makes things happen.”

Sanders will still have the eligibility season left after this one, if he chooses, so there will likely be a five-year start.

He does not think about the future.

“I feel like every year is a new year for me,” Sanders said. “I am always excited to go out and train with my teammates. I love being around these guys. I love to improve as a team and to go out and play and compete as a team and win together and lose together.

“I’m just happy to be with these guys. These guys bring my best. I hope we can get back into the game and get that championship.”


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