FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Exactly what Arkansas got when Drew Sanders transferred from Alabama nobody may really know for awhile.
Even him. Linebackers coach Michael Scherer said Friday that Sanders has no idea how good he can be.
"A lot of my challenge with Drew is getting him to trust and believe how talented he is," Scherer said. "Once he does that and lets it loose and once he gets the reps there in the middle and he’s not thinking about what he’s got to do, he can do some special, special things."
It's showing up in practice, even making the switch to inside linebacker where there's a lot more traffic to figure out. He's still making big strides.
""It’s amazing, people don’t recognize how hard it is to do what Drew’s doing right now," Scherer said. "Drew went from playing 4i defensive end, outside linebacker, sitting on the edge every play, to being in the middle of the action.
"But the reality of the situation is a lot of his plays are going to be off the ball. We’re working on him getting better at that."
It sounds like there may be some progress there.
"You see it every day," Scherer said. "A lot of it came out in that spring game. In the spring game he was making a lot of plays just being himself, so it just came out there."
Sanders started at Alabama and got playing time as a freshman on a national championship team. Last year he started three games and got more minutes on a team that played for a title.
"Just being able to be on my feet and move around a little bit, I think I'm getting a little bit more comfortable each day," Sanders said Friday. "But it is a big step from what I was doing for the past few years."
Teaming with leading tackler last year in Bumper Pool, they could be one of the best tandems in the league ... even with Grant Morgan all our of eligibility.
"With Drew, a lot of it is just getting him to trust that the things he needs to do fundamentally as a linebacker will take care of themselves," Scherer said. "He’ll make plays by just doing what he has to do. It’s getting him to not be frustrated at maybe the ball doesn’t come to him every time, so he stays disciplined in what he’s supposed to do."
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