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Penn State Football: Sanders Just Fine Waiting His Turn

by on August 14, 2017 2:00 PM

Miles Sanders is easy to find on media day because he's wearing thick glasses and he's smiling, then again Miles Sanders is always smiling.

It's hard to blame him, not too long ago he was the No.1 running back prospect in the nation and the crown jewel of a Penn State recruiting class. That is in and of itself a noteworthy moment in a career. From Pittsburgh, Sanders isn't even that far from home, so all told there isn't much to complain about.

That doesn't mean the past 12 or so months have been a lesson in patience, and a small lesson in the humbling nature of college football. You may have been the best on the high school level, but that doesn't mean anything when you take the next step.

Enter Saquon Barkley.

Fortunately for Penn State, Sanders is fine with how things have worked out, from being the No.1 back to becoming the No.1 backup. He picked up 25 carries and touchdown in 2016 and was a key part of the Nittany Lions' return game. Even so, it's hard for No. 24 to ignore No. 26 and recognize that he will have to wait his turn.

"It humbled me real fast," Sanders said of last season. "It gave me time to learn from him, because he's basically in the same situation that I was, he played as a true freshman and had success since, so I've learned a lot from him. I came in just wanting to learn and get better and hopefully play and I was lucky enough to play the amount I did, but I wasn't really upset or anything. We competed every day, he got better and I got better."

If anything Sanders' story is the same story that has been told for as long as recruiting rankings have been around. The hype helps, but it doesn't play the game for you.

"Me coming in with a lot of hype, a five star and all that sort of stuff. But that stuff doesn't really matter in college," Sanders said. "It matters how you play on this level. I didn't come in cocky, but realizing your hype doesn't really affect how you play on this level."

But as a sophomore Sanders has almost his entire career ahead of him still and he knows it. Even if Barkley won't be admitting anytime soon, Sanders is happy to state what everyone else already is thinking.

"I don't think it really impacts my career here," Sanders said of his playing time. "Everybody knows [Barkley] probably has one more year here because he's gifted enough to go to the next level. It just makes me want to learn more from him, to take advantage and soak it all in."

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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