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Clovis West defensive end Marcel Sanders verbals to San Jose State

Following his basketball-playing sisters, Sanders will be playing college football with two more brothers not far behind. (PHOTO BY AN EYE FOR IT ALL PHOTOGRAPHY)

Another Sanders from Clovis West is headed to college as Marcel, the middle child of five athletes, has verbally committed to play football at San Jose State. 

The 6-foot-3, 250 pound senior defensive lineman and three-year varsity player is rated a 3-star athlete by 247Sports. 

Sanders liked the idea of staying close to home and the family atmosphere that San Jose State offered. 

“The main thing that made me commit was the way the coaches treated me like family and supported me in the process,” Sanders said. “Another thing I loved about the program was their student-first attitude. I think it shows with all the 3.0 or higher players on the team.”

Sanders’ two older basketball-playing sisters, Bre’yanna (Arizona State) and Aari’yanna (Academy of Art) paved the way to athletics in college. Bre was a member of the 2017 CIF state championship team that finished No. 1 in the nation and Ari left Clovis West in 2019 a member of the winningest class in Golden Eagle history. 

And look out for his two younger brothers – Markel (sophomore) and Marshel (freshman) – as all three will all by playing varsity football together when the season begins on Jan. 7. 

Clovis West second year coach Tim Randall sees Sanders as an impact player at the D1 level but also praises his team-first approach. 

“Marcel is such a great kid who does all the extra stuff to make the team better,” Randall said. “He has such great length, sets the edge and can get to the quarterback and disrupt. He’s smart and is able to see things before they happen.”

Last season Sanders registered 52 tackles, eight sacks, three fumble recoveries and two defensive TDs, also seeing time at tight end.

In addition, he was named to the All-TRAC and All-Clovis Sports Report team and is ranked as the No. 121 strongside defensive end nationally in the 2021 class according to 247Sports. 

You can watch Sanders’ 2019 video highlights here.

Sanders said he knew early on that he had the potential to play D1 football and credits his father, Marcel Jr, in helping instill the drive to reach his goals.

“Playing D1 football or basketball was always a goal for me knowing it’s a step to helping my family in life,” said Sanders, also a member of the 2019 Central Section basketball team. “I knew I could play D1 football since I was in middle school but I knew for sure my sophomore year. I knew then I could excel at the high school level and get my name out there.”

Sanders also had an offer from New Mexico and was receiving interest from other schools. And when the season begins after a lengthy wait due to COVID-19, he and his teammates will be ready. 

“Knowing this is my last chance to try and win a Valley championship or at least a TRAC championship is really important to me,” Sanders added.

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