CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Sanders family is the definition of a football family. It runs in their blood.
Four-star offensive lineman, Brycen Sanders, gets his size and skills from his gene pool. His grandfather, Richard, played at Ole Miss and his father, Gary, played at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).
“My family just grew up watching football,” Brycen said. “All I knew growing up was just watching football and playing football.”
As Brycen has gotten older, he has latched onto his dad’s every word on the dos and don’ts of how to play the offensive line. He gets the chance to work with him every day, as Brycen’s father is a coach at Baylor School.
“I love being coached by him,” Brycen said. “He coaches me harder than any other player and holds me to a higher standard than any other player. It’s one of the reasons why I am in the position I am in right now.”
All of his father’s guidance has paid off as Brycen ranks as the seventh best player in Tennessee for the 2023 class according to 247Sports, resulting in 14 Division I offers.
Most of Brycen’s reputation comes from him being a stalwart as an interior lineman, but he has been given the challenge of moving to left tackle as a junior.
“It’s been different,” Brycen said. “This year I’ve gone up against a lot of speed guys and outside rushers. A lot more one-on-one blocks.”
It was evident that the transition was fairly seamless for Brycen in Baylor’s opener as the Red Raiders had their way, accumulating nearly 500 yards in total offense.
Brycen has continued his progression throughout the season, leading his team to a current record of 5-2. The success that he’s achieved this season and prior seasons was never really a surprise, but more of an expectation.
“Growing up, I’ve always wanted to play at the next level,” Brycen said. “I knew it was going to happen because that’s the standard I hold myself to.”
A high football IQ and maximum effort are two of the best traits a lineman can have, and Brycen has both. A top tier work ethic is typically the deal breaker of a guy who can stick at the next level and one who cannot. That makes Brycen’s goal of improving his pass protection look very attainable.
“I work hard in the weight room, off the field and in the classroom. I’m just a really hard worker,” Brycen said. “My family holds me to a high standard and that makes me hold myself to a higher standard.”
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