Soon to be a junior, this Georgia offensive lineman has been on Clemson’s radar for quite some time now.
Douglasville (Ga.) South Paulding 2023 four-star Madden Sanker has been recruited a bit harder by Clemson and its coaching staff ever since he set foot on campus this summer.
Sanker (6-4, 305) is the nation’s No. 2 interior offensive lineman and No. 79 overall prospect regardless of position according to 247Sports Composite rankings.
He recently caught up with The Clemson Insider regarding his current recruitment and what he’s been hearing from the Tigers lately.
Sanker and his father went down to Clemson for the Dabo Swinney Camp earlier this summer.
He had the opportunity to camp, showing Clemson’s coaching staff what he can do. Afterward, he went on a tour, saw the facilities, and talked with a couple of coaches.
“All around, it was a great visit,” Sanker told TCI. “We’ll definitely be back sometime either next summer or for a game or a fall visit, but we’ll be back.”
Sanker’s contact with Clemson is limited because only he can reach out to the coaching staff. They are not able to reach out directly to him until Sept, 1. Still, Sanker’s been able to keep in contact with the staff, he has a couple of the coaches’ numbers.
Before COVID, some of the Tigers’ coaches even came to visit Sanker at his high school — South Paulding.
“We’re really excited for this September 1st mark, where we can contact each other back and forth,” Sanker said. “They can text and call and all that. So, I think that’s when I’ll get more in-depth into talking with people at Clemson.”
Sanker estimates that he’s spoken with Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell probably around five or six times.
Clemson has really just started to recruit the talented Georgia offensive lineman. They recruited him a bit during his freshman season, but the pandemic, unfortunately, put a halt on that as it was tough, but they’ve recently picked things back up.
Sanker said that Caldwell has begun to recruit him a bit heavier since the beginning of June, which also coincides with his camp visit.
“It’s good, we haven’t really talked about football much,” Sanker said. “We talked about football for the first one or two calls and then after that, it’s just been about my family and my home life and everything about that, like outside of football what I like to do.”
Sanker has plenty of Power 5 offers, but he doesn’t hold that coveted Clemson one just yet.
“I like that a lot more than just throwing an offer at me and just saying, ‘here you go, you have an opportunity to come to our school,’ I’d rather build a relationship and know what I’m getting into when I receive the offer,” he said. “It’s a lot better when I know the coach and have a relationship with the coach and some of the players. I think it means a little more because I feel like I earned it, rather than just have one thrown at me.”
Sanker believes he’s working his way to a Clemson offer.
Now that his high school has a regular season, he’ll be able to show a lot more to coaches and teams what he can really do in-game. He’s already shown them what he can do in camps, but that’s not really football in Sanker’s opinion, that’s shorts and t-shirts, which he feels like anyone can do.
With that being said, what is Sanker exactly looking to show?
“Definitely my technique and like my feet and hand placement,” he said. “I’ve already shown my power and ability to maul people off the ball throughout my freshman and sophomore year, but some of the other players I’ve talked to have really talked to me about technique at the next level.”
Sanker talked with a couple of college football players, who have stressed the importance of technique when you’re going up against similar talent levels. In high school, you get by on your sheer ability and strength, but in college, it’s more so because of your hand placement and technique.
For his high school, Sanker has moved around quite a bit. He stepped in and played center when his team’s starting center went down with an injury. His main position is left tackle, where he’ll see the majority of his reps. He also plays on the defensive line.
At the next level, Sanker expects to be placed at either guard or center. If a team needs him to play tackle, he’ll be more than willing. Sanker’s been practicing guard when he’s been training on his own and at camps over the summer.
When asked to describe himself as a player, Sanker only needed one word to do so — aggressive.
“I’m a really nice guy when I’m off the field, but on the field, it’s business,” Sanker said.
As far as his recruitment is concerned, Sanker is “going with the flow.” Right now, he’s focused on winning a State Championship. Sanker is happy with where he’s at right now, he wouldn’t say he’s close to a decision at the moment, rather maybe sometime next summer after he takes official visits.
Sanker thinks he’ll probably drop a list of top schools during the season after conferring with his family, teammates and coaches.