“He takes us by awe.” Memorial coaches talk growth of electric MVP Jah’mar Sanders.
Published 12:29 am Thursday, July 8, 2021
Last season, Memorial quarterback Jah’mar Sanders made plays that left his coaches jaws agape. He routinely turned broken plays and covered receivers into positive yardage.
“I sit back on the headset and ask the other coaches if they just saw that,” said Rashard Colquitt, Memorial’s offensive coordinator. “Some of the things that he does are amazing. He takes us by awe. He is a special player.”
As a sophomore in 2019, Sanders was given two options: sink or swim.
Going from the freshman team quarterback to the varsity starter is not for the faint heart. Sanders took his lumps, which helped mold him into the 2020 District 9-5A Division I MVP. Last season, the dual-threat quarterback amassed 2,057 yards through the air and 17 passing TDs, along with 1,163 rushing yards and 20 TDs on the ground.
“He does stuff every game that is surprising and exciting,” head coach Brian Morgan said. “We knew since he was a freshman coming in that he had that talent. After his sophomore year, even though he struggled some, you could see from a maturity standpoint and how much time he put into getting better. We thought last year we had a chance.”
Morgan said the Titans hot start in 2020 gave Sanders the confidence needed to take the next step as a player.
“He knew he was the guy coming into the games,” Morgan said. “He comes out of the locker room, and the coaches note that he’s not that big. His film is good but you don’t realize how dynamic he is until you are on the field with him.”
Even with all of his physical talents, coaches still point to Sanders’ leadership as his biggest strength.
“The thing is, he has always been the quarterback of this group,” Morgan said. “From Pop Warner Football on up, they have seen him as the quarterback. You could always see he had something to him. It is a different level right now, going through summer workouts. He is bringing the younger guys along and pushing guys to play to his level. You know he is going to work hard. That is him, but he is pushing the other guys, too.”
Colquitt said Sanders is like having a coach on the field.
“He is a great player and a leader and people look up to him,” Colquitt said. “…There have been times where we call a play and it was a bad play. We were on the sideline and coach was saying ‘That might not be good,’ but (Jah’mar) is so smart and he reads defenses so well, he is able to switch the play to go to the side where it will work. We give him the freedom to do that, because we trust him so much.”
Sanders will not take the district by surprise this year.
Heading into his senior season, the quarterback is the preseason district MVP in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football preview.
“(The team) really believes in him,” Morgan said. “We really feel like, if it is a close game and he has the ball in his hands, we have a really good chance to win. He is a winner.”