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#13 Joe Sanders
Position: Outside Linebacker
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 215
Year: Junior
City/State: Nashville, Tenn.
High School: Hillsboro
Experience: 1 Letter


AT COLORADO: 2007 (Sr.)He played in all 13 games, including the Independence Bowl, making one start (Florida State), as he appeared both on offense and on special teams.  He returned to tight end, the position he was originally recruited to CU, and caught eight passes for 71 yards (8.9 per), with three for 10 or more yards and a long of 14.  He caught three passes for 35 yards at Arizona State and snagged two for 17 yards at Iowa State for his top games numerically, though he was primarily used in blocking schemes.  He earned five special teams points, on the strength of a tackle inside-the-20, a forced fumble, a knockdown block and a forced fair catch.  Against Alabama in the bowl game, he caught one pass for 13 yards.  In the spring, he was the Iron Buffalo Award winner for the tight ends, as he was the selection for the honor for the player at each position who represents hard work, dedication, toughness and total poundage in the weight room. 

 

2006 (Jr.)—He saw action in all 12 games on special teams and in three on defense.  He was in for 36 snaps from scrimmage, and posted four tackles (one solo), while he racked up five stops on special teams (three solo, two assists for five special team points).  During the spring, he returned to outside linebacker, where he had finished up his redshirt freshman season.

 

2005 (Soph.)—He saw action in 10 games (the first 10 of the season), mainly on special teams, though he did see scrimmage action for 26 plays at inside linebacker.  He was in on one solo tackle, with a third down stop and a pass deflection, the latter of which caused an interception in the Kansas game.  On special teams duty, he had two unassisted tackles and a knockdown block for a total of three special team points.  He had a good spring, with eight tackles (three for losses) and a fumble recovery in the three full scrimmages.  He ran the fifth fastest 40-yard dash time on the team (4.52) in spring conditioning tests.

 

2004 (Fr.-RS)—He played in all 13 games including the Houston Bowl (no starts), seven on defense and in all on special teams.  In 74 snaps from scrimmage, he had nine tackles (five solo, one for a loss) and an interception, one of the biggest plays of the year for the Buffs.  Subbing for a nicked up Brian Iwuh, he played 36 snaps at Washington State, where with 10 minutes left and CU ahead 10-6, he made his first career interception and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown, what proved to be the winning points in CU’s 20-12 victory.  He was one of five finalists on Sept. 11 for the ESPN/Pontiac Game Changing Play of the Week for his interception and ensuing TD return.  He also had three tackles in that game, and matched that total the following week against North Texas.  He didn’t post any stats in the bowl game, seeing mostly special teams duty in the win over UTEP.  He switched to the outside from the inside during fall camp, after entering August drills as a mike ‘backer.  He moved from tight end to inside linebacker about midway into spring drills, and impressed the coaches enough to where the switch was made permanent.  In two scrimmages on defense, he had six tackles (three solo), a fumble recovery and an interception, the latter coming in the spring game.

 

2003 (Fr.)—He was projected as a tight end in his true freshman year in college, but shoulder surgery prevented him from taking the practice field the entire fall.  He was injured in the practices leading up to the Tennessee-Kentucky All-Star game, and underwent shoulder surgery in July.

 

HIGH SCHOOL—A standout at both tight end and linebacker, lettering four times during his career.  As a senior, he earned PrepStar All-Southeast honors at tight end and was tabbed the No. 5 player in Tennessee, while Rivals.com ranked him the No. 34 tight end in the country.  He was selected as the Nashville Tennessean’s player of the year in Tennessee, also claiming the defensive player of the year honor and was a finalist for the class 4A Mr. Football Award.  He was named to the all-state, all-Midstate, all-region (11-4A) and first-team all-city at both tight end and linebacker.  One of Hillsboro’s captains, he was also selected defensive MVP for his region, city and team, and was invited to play in the summer 2003 Tennessee-Kentucky All-Star game.  His junior year, he was also all-state, all-Midstate, all-region and all-city fist-teams at both positions, and he garnered all-region and all-city honorable mention honors during his sophomore year.  As a senior, he caught 25 passes for 480 yards and seven touchdowns.  On defense, he totaled 133 tackles (65 solo), 30 tackles for loss including three quarterback sacks, four fumble recoveries (one for a 65-yard touchdown), two forced fumbles, two interceptions, 20 quarterback hurries and 15 pass deflections.  As a junior on offense, he had 34 receptions for 650 yards and 15 touchdowns; on defense, he was in on 105 tackles, had 15 sacks, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, three interceptions, 40 quarterback hurries and 15 pass deflections.    During his sophomore year, he caught 15 passes for 280 yards and six touchdowns, adding 63 total tackles (10 for loss), six sacks, three fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and 10 passes broken up on defense.  He did not play offense as a freshman, but started at free safety and was in on 58 tackles, had two sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, five interceptions and 20 pass deflections.  Top career games included a state semifinals win over Pearl-Cohn as a junior, when he caught four passes for 120 yards, including a game-winning 72-yard touchdown.  On defense, he added nine tackles (one for loss), two sacks and one forced fumble.  That same year, in a 19-13 win over Smyrna, he had two catches for 60 yards.  On defense, he added nine tackles (two for losses), one sack, one pass deflection and a game-clinching interception that was tipped by teammate Chris Russell on a desperation pass to the endzone.  His senior season, in a win over Overton, he had three receptions for 85 yards and one score, in addition to 14 tackles (three for losses), one sack and one pass break up.  Under coach Ron Aydelott, Hillsboro complied an impressive 50-6 record during his career, as it won its region all four years.  Hillsboro was 14-1 his senior year (falling short in the state championship game a second straight year to Maryville, 29-26), 14-1 his junior season (Maryville won it, 34-27), 13-1 his sophomore year (losing in the state semifinals to Memphis East) and 9-3 his freshman season.  He lettered three times in basketball, as he earned first-team all-region (11-5A) honors at power forward his junior year, averaging 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists a game.  He also lettered once in track (sprints and hurdles).

 

ACADEMICS—He graduated from CU with a bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies last May (’07).  He is a member of the Nashville chapter Jack & Jill Inc., which is a leadership group for local high school students.

 

PERSONAL—He was born March 2, 1985 in Nashville, Tenn.   His hobbies include bowling, golf, lifting weights and volunteering.  He belongs to his church’s youth group, where his father serves as pastor, and traveled to South Africa prior to his junior year in high school (2001) to volunteer at an orphanage.  In high school, he was a member of Jack & Jill of America, a national youth service organization dedicated to improving quality of life, particularly for African-American children.  Acted in several commercials at age 9, with the most notable a “Miss Goldie’s Chicken” ad and a junior golf spot.  He was also in the cable TV movie Proud Heart with actress/singer Lori Morgan.  He has known teammate and fellow CU recruit Chris Russell since age 11; and former CU basketball center David Harrison (from Nashville’s Brentwood Academy) since 1998.  His father (Edwin) played fullback at Connecticut Wesleyan in 1965, while his great grandfather played hockey and was the first African-American to play collegiate lacrosse at Springfield (Mass.) College during the early 1900s.




Season


G


Plays

Tackles
UT AT--TOT


TFL


Sacks


3DS


Hurr


FR


FF


PBU


Int

2004

7

74

5 4-- 9

1-1

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2005

4

26

1 0-- 1

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

0

0

0

2006

3

36

1 3-- 4

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Totals

14

136

7 7-- 14

1-1

0-0

1

0

0

0

0

1

ADDITIONAL STATISTICS—Interception Return Yards: 1-51, 51.0 avg., 51t long, 1 TD (2004). Special Team Tackles: 1,0—1 (2004). Special Team Tackles: 2,0—2 (2005); 3,2--5 (2006).

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