After finishing his high school football career with Northmor by earning third-team All-Ohio recognition, Duston Sanders will attempt to find success at the next level with Ohio Wesleyan University.
While Sanders talked with a few other colleges during the recruiting process, he said that Ohio Wesleyan stood out from the pack for multiple reasons.
“I love the area and the coaches and facilities,” he said. “It’s a small school with good people. My older brother is playing there and a few of my buddies.”
For Sanders, this coming fall will be the first time he’ll be on the same team as his brother, Travis. The older Sanders is 23 and graduated from high school in 2017, while Duston’s freshman year at Northmor was the 2018-19 school year. He noted that was one of the reasons that inspired him to also attend Ohio Wesleyan.
“Playing four more years of football,” he said. “And playing with my older brother, which has never happened before. To get a bachelor’s degree and have fun.”
Sanders will major in education. On the field, he expects to play at offensive tackle. He said that the team is a bit lacking in experience on the line, but he’ll have plenty of competition to get on the field from a number of other incoming recruits.
“I also know it’s not going to be easy coming in,” he said. “I’ll basically be hitting the weight room like crazy to compete for a spot and learning a new playbook and growing as a player.”
Sanders feels he’ll bring enthusiasm to the team.
“Personally, in the weight room, I’m loud and like to get going,” he said. “I try my best to bring life into everything.”
He added that having that mindset helped him improve as a player from his freshman year until now.
“My freshman year, I was a little soft coming in,” he said. “Then I realized I love this sport. I make it fun for everyone and it’s more fun for me.”
For Sanders, playing high school football made him realize he wanted to continue playing at the next level.
“I think the spark came in high school,” he said. “It’s different from youth and middle school.”
When he moves on to college, Sanders will miss the experience of playing for the Golden Knights.
“Probably the fans and how loud the stadium is,” was his response to what he’d miss the most. “The environment as a whole.”
He added that his years with the Northmor program helped him immensely.
“I’ve grown personally overall,” he said. “I’ve realized a lot of people look up to me. The coaches helped in my development 100 percent and in making me a better person on and off the football field.”
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS