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Tanner Sanders To Try Third Sport At OSU

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Tanner Sanders, above blocking a shot in last year's Civil War against Oregon, will add baseball to his list of sports he's tried at Oregon St.
Tanner Sanders, above blocking a shot in last year's Civil War against Oregon, will add baseball to his list of sports he's tried at Oregon St.

Today was another day of 2 a day practices with everyone excluded, and no contact with the media afterwards, so the football news had to come from away from football, and it came in the form of Tanner Sanders announcing he's leaving the team, and will try his third sport at Oregon St.

Baseball coach Pat Casey will take a look at Sanders during fall ball, and decide if there's a future there for the local produce that's already been a part of 2 teams.

Sanders, a home town multi-sport athlete from Crescent Valley High red-shirted last fall. A high school quarterback, then coach Mike Riley moved Sanders to wide receiver, where he spent the season on the scout team.

Come winter, Sanders was one of several walk-ons who made coach Wayne Tinkle's basketball team, and turned out to be one of the more productive ones, playing in 21 games, and making 1 start.

The winter with the hoops team kept him away from the football team in the off-season, and then new head coach Gary Andersen put Sanders into the group of 7 he looked at in search of a new quarterback.

Sanders was one of the ones quickly cut out of that pack, and re-appeared at the tight end/H-back group.

That's one of the deepest positions on the team though, with 7 other players in the group, and Sanders was a little slight for the position, but he had been working at learning his third position in a year's time at the FBS level. Sanders was also tried as the holder for place kicks, and looked like he might be second in that contest, behind the punter.

Sanders and Andersen then talked at length in a meeting Monday morning. Sanders said he wasn't comfortable at tight end, and the coaching staff considered moving Sanders to another position, and had decided on linebacker. It was then that Sanders decided to move on.

"They saw me being somewhere that I didn't see myself being," Sanders said of the move to the defensive side of the ball.

Sanders did say he wasn't dissatisfied with the overall direction of the program, reiterating what he had said at Oregon St. Media Day.

"I'm a big believer in what he (Andersen) is pushing forward. It's a big change," Sanders had said. "There was a change, and in my opinion it was for the better."

It could all work out, as baseball might be Sanders's best sport. He was twice the Player of the Year in his high school league, and in his senior season, was the 5A Oregon Baseball Player of the Year, playing in the same program Casey's son played for, so its no surprise Casey was familiar with and interested in taking a look at Sanders.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com