Jackson State University's defensive unit was the main reason the Tigers defeated Florida A&M in the Orange Blossom Classic. The Rattlers' offense could not sustain drives against JSU primarily because of defensive leaders Aubrey Miller Jr and defensive back Cam'Ron Silmon-Craig.
But another defender deserves equal mention for his play in limiting FAMU's quarterbacks, Rattlers-3 receivers, and rushing attack to 235 yards of total offense.
His name is Shilo Sanders. Along with Jackson State's Miller and Silmon-Craig, Shilo was impressive as he "collected bodies" and delivered big hits on FAMU players Sunday afternoon. Out of his seven total tackles, four were solo tackles, and one was a TFL.
All afternoon, I kept seeing #21 amid the fray — he was everywhere. You can tell he has the heart of a defensive player. If he wasn't making the tackle, he's swarming to the action on most defensive plays.
Sanders, 21, transferred from South Carolina's program to join his brother and father at Jackson State University. The six-foot, 194-pound Sanders redshirted in 2019 for the Gamecocks. In 2020, he tallied 32 tackles in nine games. South Carolina's head coach Will Muschamp's firing and his father's hiring at JSU were catalysts for the safety's transfer from the SEC school.
Before he gets labeled as the "other" Sanders kid by media, his play caught my attention during the game. Jay Walker said his father described him best as having that "DAWG" in him. Meaning? He's ready to battle and tenacious like a street dog.
I predict that before the 2021 regular season ends, the press will mention Shilo Sanders as a candidate for defensive honors within the SWAC and FCS.
At the moment, he may not have Shedeurs' NIL contracts, but he definitely has the "IT" factor you want in a defensive player. He's going to be special.
His younger brother Shedeur may get the press and endorsements as most starting quarterbacks usually receive. But you better believe Shilo Sanders will be making a name for himself before its all said and done at Jackson State.