One of the most highly regarded running backs the WPIAL has produced in the past decade, Miles Sanders is ranked No. 4 at his position and No. 42 overall nationally in the junior class by Rivals.com. Sanders, who lives in Forest Hills, became one of just a handful of freshmen over the years to start for coach George Novak at Woodland Hills. In two seasons, Sanders has rushed for 1,705 yards and 26 touchdowns, including 1,064 yards (on an 8.3 yard-per-carry average) and 14 touchdowns last season. He helped the Wolverines finish as the WPIAL Class AAAA runner-up both years. In addition to his production, Sanders also has the measurables. He has good size for his position, runs a 4.39 40-yard dash and has bench pressed 300 pounds.
Sanders committed to Penn State last month, choosing the Nittany Lions over a list of offers that included Pitt, Michigan State, Michigan and Nebraska. He was the first player to commit to Penn State from the 2016 class.
OUR QUESTIONS, HIS ANSWERS
You’ve been working at Sbarro this summer. How has that gone? It’s been good. My manager went to Woodland Hills. One of my teammates that graduated when I was a freshman, Jawan Turner, works there. He was the one that got me the job.
Why is this team good enough to make it back to Heinz Field? We’ve got a lot of players back. We have a lot of experience. We’ve got the whole starting offensive and defensive lines back. We’re very confident.
What are some of your individual goals this season? My goal is to break the Woodland Hills [single-season] rushing record. I think it’s 1,968 yards, so I’m trying to get over 2,000. But most importantly it’s to get to the playoffs, get to Heinz Field and win this time. Our goal is to be the first [Woodland Hills team] to win the state championship.
Which team are you looking forward to playing the most? Actually, to be honest, the main three teams we’re looking forward to playing are USC, West Allegheny and Penn Hills. All of them are good teams.
Do you pay attention to the recruiting rankings? I saw them. I was blessed to be one of the top five running backs in the country. Then again, it’s just an opinion sometimes. I just worry about the team this year.
Best senior in the WPIAL? I’ve got three. [Central Valley’s] Jordan Whitehead, [Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic’s] P.J. Fulmore and [Woodland Hills’] Art Thompkins.
Are you trying to recruit other WPIAL players to go to Penn State? Yeah, there are a couple of guys. They just offered [Central Catholic’s] Damar Hamlin. They’re looking at [Woodland Hills’] Amon Youngblood. They might be offering [McKeesport’s] Khaleke Hudson. I just tell them that’s the school where they need to be.
AND FINALLY …
Most people might be surprised to know that … I’m a momma’s boy. I love my mom.
First Published August 17, 2014 12:00 AM