Former Callaway ready for season
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Braylon Sanders is hoping his final season at Ole Miss will be his best.
Sanders, a Callaway High graduate, is a senior wide receiver for Ole Miss, and he’ll begin his season against the Florida Gators on Saturday.
Sanders is looking forward to playing for new head coach Lane Kiffin, who is known as an offensive guru who specializes in the passing game.
“I can’t wait,” Sanders said. “With Lane coming in, and his offensive mindset, I feel like I’m a great fit for this offense. Coming into my last year, I just want to showcase what I can do.”
Sanders has had a productive collegiate career to this point.
As a freshman, Sanders played in six games, and he caught four passes for 65 yards with a touchdown.
Sanders caught 16 passes for 271 yards with a touchdown as a sophomore, and last year he hauled in 10 receptions for 192 yards, and that included a career-long 57-yard catch against Mississippi State.
For his career, Sanders has 30 catches for 528 yards in 24 games, and he has averaged 22 yards per reception.
Sanders arrived at Ole Miss following an exceptional high-school career that included one particularly memorable play as a senior.
In the third round of the 2016 state playoffs against Screven County, Callaway was trailing and facing a fourth-down situation near midfield with less than one minute to play.
Sanders caught a short pass from quarterback Dylan Johnson, and he turned it into a 47-yard touchdown, and Callaway won 35-34 to reach the semifinals.
“That’s one of the best game of my life,” said Sanders, who also played quarterback at Callaway. “Being in that atmosphere, it felt great, and then scoring the winning touchdown and having all the fans running around on the field, it was great.”
After high school Sanders was thrilled to get a chance to play in the Southeastern Conference, and he has savored his time at Ole Miss.
“It’s one of the best campuses in the country,” Sanders said. “Most of them, they get there on Friday and stay the night so they can be there for The Grove on Saturday mornings. Just to be able to see them in that time of the morning, it’s great.”
Sanders always has a heavy family presence at his games, and he’s looking forward to seeing them at his games this fall.
“My family and friends, they like to travel,” Sanders said. “Most of them, they get there on Friday and stay the night so they can be there for The Grove on Saturday mornings. Just to be able to see them in that time of the morning, it’s great.”
Sanders is also excited about the chance to see some fellow Callaway graduates when Ole Miss plays Auburn on Oct. 24.
Auburn has three former Callaway Cavaliers on its roster, red-shirt freshman offensive lineman Keiondre Jones, freshman running back Cartavious “Tank” Bigsby, and freshman offensive lineman Tate Johnson.
“Seeing everybody living out their dream of going to college and playing the sport they love, it’s always great,” Sanders said. “And for me, being able to play against K.J. and Tank this year, that’s going to be a good one.”