The new look Florida State Seminoles football team has many holes to fill for the upcoming season, but it appears they may have found one at tight end in Bahamian gridiron star Mavin Saunders.
Saunders was an absolute star as the Seminoles wrapped up spring practice with the 2015 Garnet and Gold Game at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida Saturday afternoon.
The 6’6″ 258 pound redshirt freshman finished with six receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown.
In an interview with Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel, Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher heralded the progress Saunders made in the offseason.
“Mavin has really come along in the contact part of the game,” Fisher said. “He’s got a great attitude. It means something, it bothers him to make a mistake. He takes pride in what he does. Cause he’s so athletic that when he rolls those hips and he gets that big 260-pound body on you, and the way he runs, it’s just power.”
Saunders is one of the leading candidates to become a major contributor at tight end with the departure of senior standout Nick O’Leary.
Saunders appeared in just one game last season, an October contest against Wake Forest, before he earned a medical redshirt. He is one of three tight ends on the roster along with fellow redshirt freshman Ryan Izzo and redshirt sophomore Jeremy Kerr.
Saunders was slowed by an injured hamstring throughout training camp in 2014, but was named to the scout team early in the year and spent much of his time on the field working with the second team offence.
Speaking with the Tribune last season, he expressed optimism at his adjustment to the collegiate game.
“I’m improving on everything everyday and that’s what matters is to stay healthy and continue to get better,” he said, “I’m being patient and continuing to work.”
Saunders committed to Florida State during his junior season with the Kinkaid Falcons in Houston, Texans. He chose the Seminoles over Arkansas, Houston, Illinois, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Texas Tech and Utah.