Sanders, the No. 37-ranked recruit in the 2020 class, had been committed to Oklahoma since 2017, but he announced his decision to switch to Alabama. Sanders is a 6-foot-5, 220-pound recruit from Billy Ryan High School in Denton, Texas, and is ranked the No. 4 athlete in the class.
“The main reason for me committing to Oklahoma in the first place, I was in the beginning of going into high school, and I had only played offense,” Sanders told ESPN in a phone interview. “I was going to play tight end, and I thought Oklahoma was one of the best places for that. As I played defense more and more, I thought the SEC is kind of built on defense, and Alabama was a good fit for me.”
— Drew Sanders (@Drew_16Sanders) April 30, 2019
Despite being committed to Oklahoma, Sanders was visiting other programs and weighing his options throughout his recruitment. He took visits to Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU, among others.
“I spent the past weekend with Coach [Nick] Saban and all the other coaches,” Sanders said. “They really enjoyed me and my family, and we enjoyed them. We felt that comfortable feeling with them that you’re looking for.”
LSU was also trying to flip Sanders, but Alabama won and flipped the Texas prospect.
With Sanders on board, Alabama has 13 ESPN 300 commitments, which is the most of any program in this recruiting class. He is the second commitment for the Crimson Tide ranked in the top 50, joining five-star defensive end Chris Braswell, who is the No. 5-ranked recruit.
“[When] we first sat down [with Saban], we didn’t know how much interest he really had in me,” Sanders said. “He told us he was interested and talked about how he thinks I would be able to get some playing time early on. It was all up to me and how I use my time wisely. We felt like that was the best fit and the best place for me.”