While many top prospects in the 2014 cycle have been on the radar of college coaches for more than a year, there are still quite a few finding their way onto the radar. In the case of tight end prospect Mavin Saunders (Houston/The Kinkaid School), he has now burst onto the radar.
Mavin Saunders has emerged as a legitimate high-level prospect after playing football for the first time last season. He's a native of the Bahamas.
The reason for Saunders rocket ship-like ascension is simple, the near 6-foot-6 and 220-pound junior was a first-year football player in 2012 after playing basketball only since moving to Houston from the Bahamas two years ago.
According to Kinkaid School head coach Stephen Hill, Saunders transitioned from a newcomer to big time player over the course on the season.
“Just recently, things have started to pick up for him in football,” Hill said. “He (Saunders) had never played football before this season, at all. He worked really hard and went from never playing to becoming an all-state level player by the end of the season,”
Saunders has received numerous offers in basketball, including Connecticut, but understands his future is likely in football according to Hill.
“He has been offered by schools in basketball, but he also understands his upside is in football, and he likes football,” Hill said.
Saunders, who caught 40 passes for 505 yards and six touchdowns in 2012, recently picked up his first offer with many more expected to come by the end of May.
“Mississippi State offered me earlier this week,” Saunders said Thursday. “Contacting me so far are Texas Tech, Florida State has called my head coach at the school, Kansas State has sent letters and Arizona State has sent letters.”
The Mississippi State offer came as a shock to the talented two-sport budding star.
“I talked to one of their coaches on Facebook, (wide receivers coach) Tim Brewster,” Saunders said. “He messaged me on Facebook and told me they were offering. It was shocking at first. I don’t know much about football recruiting because this is my first year, but I’m thankful for it and I just look forward to continuing work with the coaches to get better.”
For the talented forward who averaged 16.5 points and 8.6 rebounds as a sophomore basketball player, the decision to play one sport at the next level was an easy one.
“I’m definitely not going to play both,” Saunders said. “I’m leaning towards football right now, but most likely I’ll make a final decision sometime my senior year.”
Saunders, who is also receiving interest from Houston and Baylor, is joined at The Kinkaid School by two more FBS prospects.
“Our quarterback, JT Granato, has been offered by Northwestern and they are trying to get him to come up for an unofficial visit,” Hill said. “He has family in the area, so he will probably do that. He is also on the radar of LSU, as he has family connections with LSU. Our receiver, Samuel Mays, is going to be a big time player too.”
Both Granato and Mays are members of the 2015 class.