South Carolina Gamecocks wide receiver Ace Sanders has been waiting in the wings of being a true impact player in the offense for the past two seasons.
The looming shadow of Alshon Jeffery relegated Sanders to being a role player in the already talented offense since his freshman season in 2010.
He finally gets his chance playing the lead role this season, and his performance this year will be vital to how far the Gamecocks will travel late into the season.
Sanders stands at 5'9" and weighs 175 pounds. Sanders is a naturally built slot receiver, but because of the emergence of Bruce Ellington and lack of experience at the position as a whole, Sanders may play outside occasionally while Ellington plays the slot.
With that said, Sanders play in the receiving game is crucial to the offense this season.
The most damage will be done in the slot for Sanders. At his frame, he won’t have trouble playing zone-buster and can wreak havoc on linebackers defending him.
But because of Bruce Ellington also being a potentially dangerous slot receiver, Sanders will have to thrive on the outside as well. The outside spot is usually reserved for taller, longer receivers.
If his speed can prevail on deep balls, then Sanders could possibly be one of the most dangerous receivers in the SEC.
In his two seasons, he's accumulated 54 catches, 699 yards and four touchdowns. If he can replicate these numbers and more this season, it will just add another dimension to an already promising offense.
Sanders is the most experienced receiver on the depth chart. The impact Sanders could have can inspire great play from Bruce Ellington and fellow receivers D.L. Moore and DeAngelo Smith.
Again, a 700-yard-plus receiving season (maybe 1,000?) for Sanders would be the greater good for the Gamecocks offense. His importance on the receiving end of the offense is a factor because of his talent, leadership abilities and experience.
Ace Sanders has the abilities to become a household name. Let’s see if he can put it together for his junior-year campaign.