19 IL S Khalil Saunders Talks Mutual Michigan State Interest
Following a strong junior season, Elmhurst (IL) Immaculate Conception 2019 safety Khalil Saunders has seen his recruitment pick up as he’s garnered the interest of several top Division 1 programs in recent months, and the #5 Michigan State Spartans are among the teams showing interest in him.
Saunders recently spoke with Spartan Nation to talk about Michigan State and said that he felt several different emotions when he learned the Spartans were interested in him and added that he hopes to continue building a relationship with the Michigan State coaching staff moving forward.
“When I first heard it, I was very relieved, shocked, happy and excited to be recruited by Spartan Nation,” he said. “I’m looking forward to keep speaking with the coaches at MSU.”
So far in the recruiting process, Saunders holds offers from Northern Illinois and Toledo.
Saunders and his twin brother Khali, who has also received interest from Michigan State, had originally planned a visit to East Lansing recently, but a scheduling conflict prevented them from making it to their visit, but Saunders told Spartan Nation that they are planning a visit as soon as possible.
“We’re definitely going to try and get up there as soon as we can, as soon as it works with our schedule with basketball,” he said. “But we’re definitely going to get out there.”
With both Saunders and his brother seeing their recruiting pickup and similar schools showing interest in both of them, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound defensive back said that he would jump at the chance to play alongside Khali, but did say that the school would have to be the right fit for both of them.
“I would love to play alongside my brother,” he said. “Just because we’ve been playing with each other for so long that we know what the other is going to do right before we do it. The chemistry we have and the bond that we have on and off the field is unreal – I like to call all of my teammates my brother – but we have to hope for the best and just find out what’s best for each other. Hopefully, we get to play together.”
Khali Saunders is a 6-foot-4, 210-pound athlete, who is capable of playing receiver on offense and multiple defensive positions.
Khalil Saunders said that his competitive nature and his aggressive style of play is something that comes from growing up with his brother as they both push each other to be better on a regular basis, on and off the field.
“I think it comes from being a younger twin brother,” he said. “Me and my brother, we compete a lot at home and with him being a lot bigger than I am, I just have to be more physical and stronger in my own way going up against him. I use my strengths against others’ weaknesses on the field.”
“It’s great,” Saunders added. “He pushes me every day to be the best man, person, player that I can be in life, in my academics and my career in football, so it’s great having him with me along the way. He’s been my right-hand guy since the day we came out together.”
With Saunders’ reputation of being a fast, physical and versatile player, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound standout said that he believes he can be a good fit in the Michigan State defense and said that he’s long admired Michigan State’s brand of football.
“I can see myself playing in that defense,” he said. “The safeties and corners going up against the wide receivers are well-disciplined, they’re up in your face, they’re playing physical the whole game. I love the physicality of Michigan State’s defense as well as their offense, pounding the ball a lot with the run game and once it opens up the passing game, they let the ball out.”
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