MAVIN Saunders has decided on the destination for his final season of NCAA football.
The Bimini native announced via Twitter that he is set to join the Kansas Jayhawks next fall after he announced his intention to transfer the Florida State Seminoles programme last month.
“Thank you Nole Nation for a great 3 1/2 years. To my former teammates I will miss you guys dearly and wish you all nothing but the best. With that being said I have decided to play my final season at Kanas University. I look forward to being a part of a great up and coming programme,” Saunders tweeted.
Saunders joins a Kansas Jayhawks programme that finished just 1-11 last season and 0-9 in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks will return two tight ends from last year’s roster, redshirt sophomore Jace Sternberger and sophomore John Kelly.
They will also return nine starters on offence, providing a much more experienced roster for the 2018 campaign.
Following a disappointing season for the entire Seminoles football programme, Saunders announced his intention to transfer in late November.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank coach Fisher and his coaching staff for giving me a chance to play at such a great university. I truly enjoyed my time here in Tallahassee,” he said.
“After much thought I have decided to transfer and play my final season of eligibility. I appreciate all the support over the last three and-a-half years. I will always be a Seminole.”
Saunders did not record a reception this year in his junior season and his Seminole stats for his career include 16 receptions for 234 yards.
The 6’6”, 258-pound tight end finished his sophomore season with 10 receptions for 182 yards - both career highs. As a redshirt freshman he totalled six receptions for 52 yards.
Saunders rose to prominence in the Tallahassee community for his work off the field. And he was one of 11 players named to the Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.
Saunders was nominated for the honour in July based on his contributions to the surrounding community in Tallahassee, Florida, as a volunteer mentor at Riley Elementary School.
He was also named to the Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Honour Roll.
The Seminoles lost their starting quarterback Deondre Francois in the opening game of the season and have relied on true freshman quarterback James Blackman to fill the void. Ranked No.3 to begin the season, the Seminoles are currently 5-6. They will conclude the regular season on December 2 against Louisiana-Munroe in a game that was originally postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
Saunders committed to Florida State during his junior season with the Kinkaid Falcons in Houston, Texas.
He chose the Seminoles over Arkansas, Houston, Illinois, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Utah. “There were a lot of positives about it,” Saunders said. “It’s close to home, and that was a major factor in my decision-making process.”
At Kinkaid, Saunders was rated a four-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Scout, and a three-start recruit by Rivals. He was ranked the No.3 tight end in the country and No.23 player in Texas (No. 187 player overall) by 247Sports, was rated the No. 7 tight end and No. 45 player in Texas by ESPN, ranked the No. 14 tight end and No. 32 player in Texas by Rivals and Scout’s No. 9 tight end prospect.
As a junior, he had 40 catches for 590 yards and six touchdowns and, in his senior season, he caught 35 receptions for 468 yards and eight touchdowns.
Saunders joined the Frank Rutherford Foundation Programme in Houston in 2009 as a basketball recruit and played the sport until his junior season when he made the transition to football.