CV football: Tanner Sanders

Crescent Valley quarterback Tanner Sanders throws during last season’s rivalry game against Corvallis. (Andy Cripe | Corvallis Gazette-Times)

Tanner Sanders isn’t going to wait until the end of football season to make his decision.

Sanders, who is entering his senior year at Crescent Valley High, announced on Saturday after a half-day football camp at Oregon State that he is going to play for the Beavers.

“Now I can just get to go to work with my team this summer and just be a kid,” Sanders said. “It’s not going to be in my mind. It’s a done deal.”

In addition to OSU, he had offers from Portland State and San Diego State and said that he had been in close contact with Michigan, Brigham Young, Washington, Arizona State, Stanford and USC.

The family atmosphere that surrounds coach Mike Riley and the program was a big selling point for the Beavers.

Sanders has been around the program for years. His father is former OSU linebacker and current CV coach Scott Sanders. Uncle Bruce Sanders also played linebacker for the Beavers.

“I went into the camp thinking that I was going to make the decision,” Tanner Sanders said. “Just getting a chance to be around that coaching staff again really made me decide.”

Although Sanders is the starting quarterback for the Raiders and was an honorable mention Mid-Willamette Conference selection following his junior season, there has been some debate over where he best fits in at the next level.

He occasionally lines up out wide for the Raiders and was primarily a receiver early in his varsity career.

He is ranked as a three-star wide receiver by Scout and a three-star athlete by Rivals.

Sanders said the Beavers will give him a shot at quarterback.

“Quarterback is where I’ve always wanted to play and the fact that they are going to give me chance to compete for the starting job is a huge factor in the decision that I made,” he said.

With athletic quarterbacks at a premium nowadays, that could be a plus for OSU.

Sanders fits the mold at 6-foot-41/2, 200 pounds and 4.65 40-yard dash speed.

“Oregon State has not really had a running quarterback (in recent years),” Sanders said. “But maybe I can get in there and my feet will help as well as what they want to see with how the drop-back passing goes.”

Sanders also plays basketball — he was a second-team all-MWC pick — and baseball.

He was named the conference player of the year this spring after leading the Raiders to the MWC title.

“I love playing the other sports but football has always been the main focus for me,” he said.

If quarterback doesn’t work out for Sanders, he might try receiver, defensive back or even H-back if he gets big enough.

Developing his quarterback skills is his top priority for the next year.

“I really want to get my footwork and my throwing motion down to perfection,” he said.

“I’ve always been the type of quarterback that has thrown on the run, but at the next level you’ve got be sharp with your mechanics.”

Kevin Hampton is sports reporter for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at 541-758-9519 or kevin.hampton@lee.net.

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