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Irish add commitment from WR C.J. Sanders

May 6, 2014, 10:05 PM EDT

Photo: George Walker IV / THE TENNESSEAN Photo: George Walker IV / THE TENNESSEAN

Just as things had seemed to quiet on the football front, Notre Dame’s coaching staff received an important commitment for the 2015 recruiting class. Tennessee wide receiver C.J. Sanders gave the Irish a verbal commitment, choosing Notre Dame over offers from Cal, Georgia, Northwestern, Stanford, Tennessee, USC and others.

Sanders is a 5-foot-10, 175-pound wide receiver from Nashville’s Brentwood Academy. He’s the eight member of the growing class of 2015, joining Allen, Texas’ Jalen Guyton at wide receiver. Sanders visited campus last weekend, needing very little time to pull the trigger on picking the Irish.

While Sanders is a fairly off-the-radar prospect in this recruiting cycle for Irish fans, one thing that’s readily apparent is his speed. An elite level sprinter, Sanders ran a 10.64 100 meter dash last year in track and field. That speed flashes once you watch Sanders’ highlights, when he caught 52 passes for 734 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

Sanders’ athleticism is the product of a great family tree. His father Chris played wide receiver for Ohio State and then played seven seasons in the NFL. His stepfather Corey Harris played 12 seasons in the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the Ravens. His mother played basketball at Michigan.

Sanders has moved to Southern California and will play his senior season at Notre Dame in Sherman Oaks. He’s an established actor, working regularly as a younger child, a series regular on Six Feet Under and Saved after breaking in playing a young Ray Charles in the Oscar-winning movie starring Jamie Foxx.

(KeiVarae Russell might have some competition for best actor on the football team.)

Sanders projects as a slot receiver with speed as good as any of the receivers currently on the roster. He’ caught up with Irish Illustrated’s Steve Hare to discuss what made him pull the trigger now.

“Once I got the chance to go up there this weekend I just fell in love with it,” Sanders told Hare. “After the visit I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I felt it. This morning I wanted to make it official so I told Coach Booker that I wanted to get in contact with coach Kelly and call him and let him know everything. I called him during my study hall at school and made it official.”



  1. dickasman - May 6, 2014 at 10:11 PM

    Number of stars?
    40 time?
    Number of crabs stolen?

  2. papadec - May 6, 2014 at 10:42 PM

    You have to love his pedigree, I do anyway. I am somewhat concerned about the move to California, where it will be easier for ucla & sc to poach him. Although, he’ll be playing for Notre Dame this coming season. Dick – He is a RIVALS four star.

  3. onward2victory - May 6, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    After watching that highlight reel, I think this guy will make us forget all about that Isaiah McKenzie deflection. Dude looks like he has GAIII speed with TJ Jones quickness. Love it, welcome aboard CJ!

    • standingdomer - May 6, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      seriously. great film. Davonte who? bounces off tacklers who don’t wrap up. great angles. cutting ability and acceleration. i mean, it’s a highlight reel, but still. looks like someone who might be able to help return kicks.

  4. shaunodame - May 6, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    He seriously looks exactly the same as when he played the young Ray Charles in “Ray”. That’s too funny

    • onward2victory - May 7, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      Well he does seem to have “blinding” speed…

      • ndgoldandblue - May 7, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        My guess is he won’t “mess around” when he gets to campus by slacking off in the classroom or on the field.

      • shaunodame - May 7, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        I used to have “Georgia on My Mind” but now I can’t stop laughing at these comments instead.

  5. 25kgold - May 6, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Just a three star? Who rates this stuff?

  6. 25kgold - May 6, 2014 at 11:52 PM

    C.J. Sanders = Lil’ Rocket (Ismail)

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - May 7, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      I just hope the C in C.J. doesn’t stand for Colonel or he may be too chicken to play a Brady Hoke coached team.

      • ndgoldandblue - May 7, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        “What’s the matter, Colonel Sanders? Chicken?” -Dark Helmet, Spaceballs

  7. yaketyyacc - May 7, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    General McClellan recruited a talented army, but it took General George G. Meade to make it a winner. Notre Dame has recruited so well, do we have a Gen. Meade to make us winners?

    • heartofgoldandblue - May 7, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      The dead horse is well beaten…I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

    • bearcatirishfan - May 7, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Meade? the guy that was so great he was quickly replace by U.S. Grant. Dude won one big battle and that was more because of Lee’s arrogance than his brilliance. I hope to all that is holy the Kelly isn’t compared to Meade someday.

    • notredameirish1980 - May 7, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      Let’s hope this inane pattern of remarks is soon ‘history’.

  8. schuey73 - May 7, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune reported that he also has an offer from Yale. I’m going to guess academics are not going to be an issue. Welcome aboard CJ!

    • 1historian - May 7, 2014 at 10:50 AM

      Good point but the last I heard the Ivy League does not give athletic scholarships.

      • ndoneill - May 7, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        They don’t, but they still recruit people. So an “offer” from Yale is still a valid thing to say.

  9. irishwilliamsport - May 7, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    I’m sold on this guy, now lets add some big D lineman and Linebackers and catch up to Alabama who is already up to 15 recruits…..I hear they’re out of free cars and strippers though so things will probably slow down.

  10. cajunirish - May 7, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    Looks like a faster, younger, less broken version of Amir Carlisle. Should be fun to watch when he gets on campus.

  11. deaconjack - May 7, 2014 at 12:28 PM


    Yale offers football scholarships. I just checked their website.

  12. fnc111 - May 7, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    Mother went to Michigan. Father went to Ohio State. He is moving to California. Something tells me he will be one of those constant flip floppers like Gunner Kiel. Just a hunch.

    • iamgolden4life - May 7, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      At ease gents. Welcome Mr “CU later” Sanders to the Irish family. Work on getting some of those Cali kids to come with you to South Bend. GO IRISH

  13. blackirish23 - May 7, 2014 at 7:21 PM


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