David Sanders Jr: Nation’s No. 1 sophomore shares ‘amazing’ review of first UGA visit
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 5-star sophomore LT/DE prospect David Sanders Jr. He is the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2025 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. That is a ranking he clearly has earned.
We don’t do this all that often, but we will begin this story with two pictures.
Check that one up above. Now this one.
Are words really necessary here to convey that Sanders looked like he was at Disney World for the first time in Athens on Saturday?
He was amazed by the ‘Dawgs and all things Georgia. Does that ready-for-an-NIL-toothpaste deal smile need any more supporting evidence?
“I had a blast,” Sanders said. “The Georgia experience was just amazing to be my first time down there. The atmosphere was crazy. The fans were amazing. I loved all the coaches that I got to talk to that night. It was just a fun experience for me and my family.”
“I really enjoyed my first visit down there. I really enjoyed the game. It seemed like the fans got more excited when it started raining in the fourth quarter. Which got me super pumped up and everything. I really enjoyed the whole thing. It was a fun night.”
We’ll try to find at least a thousand words of depth to report on why the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect for 2025 took such an impactful first visit to UGA for the Tennessee game.
It was big for Georgia to have him there. The ‘Dawgs found his family a row of seats just behind the official visitors on Saturday.
For starters, he’s a rare prospect. Capable of being ranked as a 5-star recruit if he exclusively lined up at left tackle. Or at the defensive end spot. And probably also as a tight end as well.
The Providence Day (Charlotte, NC) sophomore is blessed with that type of talent. The first DawgNation story on Sanders from July covers the bases regarding his genuine heart, toughness and then an undeniable upside.
UGA recruits a lot of future first-rounders. A lot of the players the Bulldogs sign have that level of potential. There is also a very small group of players in every cycle that look like they could be future top 5 picks.
Sanders is that type of athlete.
He ran a 4.96 in the 40, broad jumped 9 feet, 8 inches and clocked a 4.42 pro agility shuttle in June at an Alabama camp. He was less than 10 months removed from a broken femur when he posted those numbers.
Those are strong numbers for a player of his size. Especially at his age. There’s a lot more here than the way he can help win football games, though.
He’s the doting big brother that begged his tough coach to borrow a cell phone while away at a team camp. Sanders had to call his baby sisters. The staff had rounded up all the phones and bundled them up in a bag to promote team bonding.
His cherished siblings had really never been away from Sanders. He knew he needed to call them.
That story serves as the prelude to one of the sweetest post-visit recruiting stories we could ever share.
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David Sanders Jr: The real post-visit interview that matters
When the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect visits Georgia, they get a lot of media requests for interviews. It doesn’t matter which recruiting cycle they are in.
This 5-star is still getting used to that. But there is really only one post-visit interview that matters. That’s the grilling that comes from his three younger sisters.
That’s when Ava, Layla, and Skyla put him on the hot seat. Layla is the oldest. Skyla is the youngest. Ava is right in the middle.
In the past, they’ve asked him ‘Do you like NC State?’ or ‘Do you like this school’ and wait to see his answer.
Sanders even delivered his impression of their questions. High-pitched voices and all.
“As soon as we got home they started on me,” Sanders said. “They said ‘Do you like Georgia?’ and it was pretty funny to see their reaction and to see them having fun as well.”
They always ask. Especially after this trip.
“I told them I loved it and I can’t wait to be back,” Sanders said. “They might have to get used to going to Georgia a little bit.”
They share their answers, too. They told him they like red. They stayed in after halftime but came back out when it started raining.
They wanted to dance when the music started playing.
“That was another thing I really appreciated about Georgia,” Sanders Jr. said. “They allowed my entire family to come and enjoy the entire experience with me which was amazing.”
The ‘Dawgs gave David Sanders Jr. a lot of “favorite parts” on the visit
Sanders went into the visit wondering if the Georgia hype would match his hopes. He said in the summer that when he got the Georgia offer that it was one of, if not the best, moments of his life so far.
He had a bit of uneasiness he might go to UGA and not like it. It seemed as if it would be a disappointment that such a prestigious program might not feel like a fit for him.
That’s no longer an issue here.
“My favorite part is hard to pick,” he said. “I don’t know if I liked the pregame or the halftime or the end of the game when it started raining. When it started raining, then the music came on. Everyone started dancing. That was super cool. I enjoyed everything. I don’t think I really have a favorite part because they are all my favorites.”
Sanders will be back. He will return after the season to be around the program more. His family didn’t get the full tour experience. They wanted to get to know the coaches more than just on a busy game day.
His parents loved the trip. The Sanders family is big on academics. They need to hear about the academic engine at UGA.
“I definitely look forward to being back up there during the offseason,” Sanders Jr. said.
This young man even remembered the name of the UGA recruiting host that steered them around for a historic meeting of the two highest-ranked teams to ever play in Sanford Stadium.
Most recruits don’t bring up the name of their hosts in their postgame interviews. Sanders did. He made sure to compliment “Mr. Andre” for the way he represented the University of Georgia and its football program.
“He was an amazing guide for us,” Sanders said. “He was with us for the entire day. Anything we needed with any questions that I had regarding the program and just the school in general. I really enjoyed him being with us. He watched the game with us. I had a lot of fun talking to him and getting to know more about football and school.”
There’s just a humbleness with this young man that is uncommon among recruits. Especially 5-star recruits. Definitely the No. 1 player in the nation.
He was grateful for the invitation.
“I was just happy to be considered one of the top players there,’ Sanders Jr. said. “That experience is like nothing else. I was just glad I was able to be there.”
He would have hated to miss out on that game experience. He made that seem clear.
David Sanders Jr: The ways UGA impressed the nation’s top sophomore
How did Georgia help itself with Sanders? He had a layered answer to that topic.
“Just making me feel like a priority while I was there,” Sanders said. “They had I don’t know how many 5-stars and just recruits in general. But they made my family and I feel like we were at home and feel welcome while I was over there. That was definitely a big plus for them.”
He kept on.
“I know the offensive line coaches and all the other coaches that had hands-on with me getting down there to Georgia. They definitely made sure they got to talk to me and my family. They made sure. That made my family and I feel very appreciated and welcome. I definitely enjoyed that aspect of the program.”
Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searles made a strong impression. Assistant offensive line coach Eddie Gordon is one of the most integral under-the-radar pieces of the Georgia recruiting machine. They both spent quality time with Team Sanders on the visit.
“They just talked to me about how much they were interested in me and how they loved the way I play the game and how they want me to be a part of the program and Georgia football and all,” Sanders said. “I look forward to spending more time with them and building that relationship but for my first experience and meeting both of them I definitely enjoyed it.”
As far as his game trips go, this one sets a new standard for him.
“I don’t think anything compares to that atmosphere they played in,” Sanders Jr. said. “They came out of the locker room hype and they stayed until the end of the game. Just the joy I saw on all the player’s faces was something I have been looking at as well. Just to see how the players were reacting to the coaches and how the coaches were reacting to the players and the interaction with the fans.”
For the record, we did see Sanders dancing in the stands on Saturday. He was dancing to ‘Swag Surf’ and he definitely had his cell phone flashlight out for Georgia’s fourth quarter “Light Up Sanford” tradition.
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The early film for David Sanders Jr. is already pure gold
Sanders said the Georgia players interacted with the recruits while warming up prior to the game.
“As the players came out, they dapped almost all of the recruits up,” Sanders Jr. said. “Just saying ‘Hey’ and ‘Welcome to Georgia’ and ‘If you guys want to know where to go this is home and family’ so I really enjoyed that part and seeing all the players were having fun with the game. It wasn’t like it was torture to them. They were definitely pumped up for the game and excited to go play.”
He watches the offensive and defensive lines in general. That’s Smart. He could play on either side of the ball in college. Sanders noticed how Stetson Bennett didn’t get touched. He said ‘the D-line looked dominant’ as well.
“Those are two plusses for me,” he said. “They definitely give each other great looks in practice so that is best on best every single day.”
He said Searels was “amazing” to talk to and he picked his brain after the game.
“Basically just keep getting me bigger and getting me in the weight room to get big,” Sanders Jr. said. “He just said he loves my size, my physique and my athleticism as an offensive lineman. Just to be so versatile and not just one specific position. He says I can play all five positions on the line.”
“Then he says he loves me as a person. He loves my personality and I am family-oriented and things like that. He said that’s definitely some things he can work with. He can develop me not only as a player but as a person.”
His head coach, Chad Grier, has already called him the best prospect he’s ever coached in a career that has seen him steer many All-Americans to the next level. That includes his son. Will Grier was even a third-round NFL Draft pick at QB.
“He’s looked incredible,” Grier said of Sanders. “There are not enough words to praise and describe him as a young man and as a player. At the beginning of the year, we’re trying to limit his reps on defense. But he’s dominant as a defensive end. He’s dominant as an offensive tackle. He could probably play tight end. He’s a freak in all the best possible ways you can say it.”
“He’s an incredible young man first and foremost, but his talent is just special.”
Check out what Sanders has looked like so far during his sophomore year. It is pretty impressive to consider what he is here and realize that he has the rest of this season and all of 2023 and 2024 before he advances to the next level.
The first two clips are enough to see why he’s regarded so highly by the recruiting industry.
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