Penn State taught Eagles RB Sanders to play their own game

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – Miles Sander’s historic career in Pennsylvania stretches west to east. The Eagles running back, now playing in Super Bowl LVII, is hoping to become a Lombardi trophy back in his home state.

Sanders grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Penn State and is now the starting running back for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Running back coach Ja’Juan Seider unsuccessfully recruited Sanders to join WVU after high school. So when Seider accepted the coaching job at Penn State RB, he knew he was getting a special player in Sanders.

“I think the main thing that me and Miles talked about was making sure Miles becomes Miles Sanders,” Seider said. “I told Miles he was himself because Miles was a five-star running back that came out [of high school]. Miles was good enough. He had to believe he was good enough and play the way he was supposed to play again. [He needed] not trying to play in someone else’s shadow.”

That other was current New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. In his first two seasons at Penn State, Miles sat behind the legendary Nittany Lion.

When it came time to take the helm in 2018, Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns.

“[Penn State Head Coach James Franklin] turns boys into men,” Sanders said at Super Bowl LVII this week. “And that’s it. That’s what he did to me. He’s focused on education and that’s what struck me and my mum. It’s very close to home and football depends on how big he’s up there.”

Sanders says the Penn State coaches, led by Franklin, made him the player he is today.

“We’re very proud of him,” Franklin said. “He’s done really well, not only on the field and as an impact player for the Eagles, but also in how he represents himself off the field. And he’s been like this since we recruited him out of high school. He was just a phenomenal representative of Penn State and our football program, and I’m not surprised at the type he’s got a year from now. He really kind of fits the model that everyone is looking for now, especially in the NFL.”

Penn State has the second-most Super Bowl champions of any college program, and Miles Sanders would become the 47th alumni to win a ring.

Miles still has a chip on his shoulder,” Seider said. “I mean look around, he probably still doesn’t feel like he’s getting the respect he deserves. He’s into a Pro Bowl year and he’s probably the least talked about guy in Eagles territory.

Super Bowl LVII will be played on Sunday, February 12 in Glendale, Arizona between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Kick-off is at 6:30 p.m. Penn State taught Eagles RB Sanders to play their own game

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