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Penn State’s Top 10 For 2018: #5 Miles Sanders

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We continue off our annual top ten preseason football players of 2018 list as voted on by the BSD staff. In creating this list, we considered players’ abilities, value to the team and past performance, among other factors.

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl - Penn State v Washington Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Our countdown continues with a talented runner that is ready to show to take the Big Ten by storm in 2018 - Miles Sanders

#9 QB Tommy Stevens (tie)
#9 DE Ryan Buchholz (tie)
#8 DT Kevin Gives
#7 OL Connor McGovern
#6 DE Shareef Miller

How He Got Here

For the past three seasons when people thought of Penn State Football they thought of superstar running back back Saquon Barkley. However, Saquon was not the only player in the Nittany Lions’ running back room with an elite skill set.

Pittsburgh native Miles Sanders is now the man at running back for Penn State and he is ready to show everyone why he was the top rated high school running back in the country his senior year at Woodland Hills High School.

Between returning kicks and spotting Barkley, Sanders has appeared in 25 of the 27 games the Nittany Lions have played since he arrived on campus in the summer of 2016. Once he got over fumbling issues that plagued him early in his career Sanders started to take advantage of the opportunities he was given.

The past two seasons Sanders averaged a healthy 6.7 yards per carry. He has flashed what made him five-star recruit in high school putting his elite acceleration and ability to make defenders look silly on display.

What to Expect in 2018

It is not a coincidence that this offseason Sanders has joined quarterback Trace McSorley as the face of the Penn State program. The reason you see Sanders on ads, being touted on social media, etc. is that James Franklin and his staff have sky high expectations for Sanders this fall.

Sanders has also been one of the best players in the program this offseason. He is now tipping the scales at 210 lbs. and flashed his potential throughout spring practice. Also, you better believe Sanders will have a bit of a chip on his shoulder this fall as he looks to be known as more than ‘the guy who replaced Barkley.’

Opposing defenses will game plan around McSorley and the passing game this fall and the Nittany Lions will have their best offensive line since at least 2013. Both of these factors will help open the door for Sanders to burst onto the scene in 2018.

Penn State’s offense should continue to be one of the best in the Big Ten in 2018. Sanders will play a huge role in this. On top of being an elite runner he is a great pass catcher out of the backfield as well.

Look for Sanders to have an All-Big Ten caliber 2018 campaign for the Nittany Lions.