STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) — Miles Sanders’ historic career in Pennsylvania spans from west to east. Now playing in Super Bowl LVII, the Eagles running back hopes to being a Lombardi trophy back to his home state.
Sanders grew up in Pittsburgh, went to Penn State and now is the starting running back for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Running back coach Ja’Juan Seider unsuccessfully recruited Sanders to come to WVU after high school. So when Seider took the Penn State RB coach job, he knew he was getting a special player in Sanders.
“I think the biggest thing me and Miles talked about is making sure Miles become Miles Sanders,” Seider said. “I told Miles be himself because Miles was a five-star running back coming out [of high school]. Miles was good enough. He had to believe he was good enough and get back to playing the way he’s supposed to play. [He needed] to not try to play in somebody else’s shadow.”
That someone else was current New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. For his first two seasons at Penn State, Miles sat behind the legendary Nittany Lion.
When it was his time to take over in 2018, Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns.
“[Penn State Head Coach James Franklin] turns boys into men,” Sanders said this week at Super Bowl LVII. “And that’s it. “That’s what he did to me. He focuses on education and that’s what stood out to me and my mom. It’s very close to home and the football takes care of itself in how big it is up there.”
Sanders says the Penn State coaches, led by Franklin, turned him into the player he is today.
“We’re very proud of him,” Franklin said. “He’s done really well, not just on the field and being an impact player for the Eagles, but really how he’s representing himself off the field as well. And he’s been like that the whole way, all the way since we recruited him out of high school. He’s just been a phenomenal representative of Penn State and our football program, and I’m not surprised with the type a year that he is having. He really kind of fits the model, what everybody’s looking for now, specifically in the NFL.”
Penn State has the second most Super Bowl champions of any college program, and Miles Sanders would be the 47th alumni to win a ring.
Miles still got a chip on his shoulder,” Seider said. “I mean, you look around, he still probably don’t feel like he’s getting the respect he deserves. He’s on a Pro Bowl year, and he’s probably the least talked about guy up in the Eagles territory.”
Super Bowl LVII will be played in Glendale, Arizona between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, February 12. Kickoff is at 6:30 in the evening.