When D.J. Sanders thinks he has a chance for an interception, he doesn’t waste any effort – the Golden Hawk flies toward the ball.
“When I see the ball in the air and I know it’s close to me, or I think I can get it, I go for it,” Sanders said.
The senior star spends time at receiver on offense and defensive back or linebacker on defense. When he’s on offense, the task is about running his route. But when he’s on the other side, Sanders has to trust his instincts, picking up clues from the quarterback and receiver to try to figure out what’s going to happen next.
Thanks to his participation in track, where he runs the 300-meter hurdles and competes in the triple jump, Sanders has cut his 40-yard time from 4.9 seconds to 4.5, meaning he is more capable of soaring to the ball on a pass or tracking down a ball carrier on a run.
When he’s at his fastest, Sanders can see the action around him slow down, making it easier to swoop in for the big defensive play.
“It’s a different feeling,” Sanders said. “Everybody is moving slower than you when you’re moving fast. It’s kind of fun.”