Former Ohio State Wide Receiver C.J. Saunders Signs With Carolina Panthers

The walk-on turned scholarship wide receiver has found a home in the NFL.
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The Carolina Panthers announced on Tuesday evening that they have signed former Ohio State wide receiver C.J. Saunders.

A former walk-on from Dublin (Ohio) Coffman, Saunders caught 27 passes for 294 yards and one score during his career with the Buckeyes from 2015-19. He earned a scholarship heading into his junior season thanks to his efforts on special teams and was named a team captain by his peers as a senior.

Saunders missed the entire 2019 season with a knee injury and was hopeful he would be granted a sixth of year eligibility by the NCAA. His request was denied, however, and he spent last fall as a graduate assistant on the Ohio State coaching staff.

The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Saunders participated in the Buckeyes’ pro day in late March in hopes of catching the eye of an NFL team but ultimately went undrafted. He then participated in the Atlanta Falcons’ rookie minicamp last month before signing with Carolina.

Saunders now joins former Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein on the Panthers’ roster, as Elflein signed a three-year deal with the franchise this offseason.

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