Much like last year’s class, the 2019 NFL draft is loaded with talented running back prospects.
If your favorite NFL team needs a physical, elusive runner who carved up some of the nation’s best defenses in the Big Ten, Penn State’s Miles Sanders could be the perfect fit.
Sanders recently spoke exclusively with MCM about his combine experience, what he learned from Saquon Barkley and what I could find on his pre-game playlist.
JM: How would you grade your overall performance at the combine?
MS: I thought I put on a great show. I felt that I did really good out there actually. I was full of confidence. I felt pretty smooth out there. I had been practicing the drills for a good while now. I knew what to expect. I thought it was a great experience and I’m happy with my overall performance.
JM: Is there anything you’re looking to improve on at your pro day?
MS: I just need to continue doing what I did out there. I wanna catch the ball smoothly at my pro day and show them that I’m a pass catching weapon as well. I just wanna go through the drills smoothly. I need to be smooth when moving around the cones and what not. Just little things like that. I need to be more efficient in my movements.
JM: How would you describe your running style?
MS: I think I’m very elusive and physical. I do my best work between the tackles. I can break tackles and create after contact. I have the speed in the open field to take any run to the house. I can catch the ball out of the backfield. I didn’t get a chance to showcase my receiving skills much this past year but I look forward to proving I can handle that at the next level. That was one of my main goals going into the combine.
JM: Are there any running backs that you enjoyed watching growing up? Maybe someone that you model your game after?
MS: I grew up watching guys like Reggie Bush and Barry Sanders. There’s a lot of current running backs that I enjoy watching as well. Saquon Barkley of course, that’s my guy right there. Ezekiel Elliot and Le’Veon Bell are two obvious ones. I enjoy watching the guys I can consider to be generational talents. I love all of the top running backs.
JM: Speaking of Barkley, what did you learn from playing behind him?
MS: Watching the way he prepares for a game would be the main thing. He’s an absolute professional. He watches so much film. I learned so much from him in that department. He carries himself like a professional both on and off the field. I was always picking his brain, even the little things. Being around him was great for me.
JM: You returned kicks at Penn State. What do you enjoy about doing that and do you hope to do it at the next level?
MS: I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make the team and get on the field. As far returning kicks goes, returning or punts or playing on the hands team, I can do it all. I don’t mind doing it. It doesn’t really matter to me. I just wanna work and produce any way that I can.
JM: You’ve had a lot of great teammates throughout your time at Penn State, but if you were going to war tomorrow and could only bring one with you, who would you bring and why?
MS: Ah man. That’s tough. I would have to go with K.J. Hamler. That’s my guy right there. I’m sure you can tell he’s the smallest guy on the field. He works so hard though. He plays with his heart on his sleeve. He doesn’t take any plays off. His effort level is the same when he has the ball and when he doesn’t. That’s what makes him special to me.
JM: What would I find on your pre-game playlist? Do you listen to music before a game?
MS: Yeah, I love listening to music before a game. I listen to all of the rappers that everybody else listens too. Guys like Future, Young Thug, Migos, Gunna, NBA Youngboy and Lil Baby.
JM: What’s your favorite Future album?
MS: I’d have to go with his HNDRXX album.
JM: I have to go with Dirty Spirte II, personally.
MS: Oh yeah, that’s a great answer. His old stuff is amazing too. I just thought the Future album and the HNDRXX album, he dropped those back-to-back and I love them both.
JM: I’ve appreciated your time today. Miles. In closing, when a team drafts Miles Sanders, what kind of man are they getting?
MS: They’re getting a man that’s about his business. I can’t wait to get to work. I’m gonna come in every day and have a positive influence on those around me. I’m gonna come in every day with the attitude that I have to get better today. I have to be better than I was the day before. I can’t wait to contribute on Sunday.