Vince Sanders, who played a key role during the University of Mississippi’s rise to prominence, has been tabbed as the Tigers’ new wide receivers coach prior to the start of the 2017 campaign.
Sanders was a four-year letter winner for the Rebels that became one of the top wideouts in program history. He was part of 26 Ole Miss victories and three bowl appearances over the course of his career.
Sanders officially played in 44 contests during his tenure with the Rebels and etched his name permanently into their record books. He is tied with five other individuals for 11th all-time with 11 total touchdown receptions.
He is one of only 19 men in the 123-year history of Ole Miss football to record at least 100 career catches. His 109 grabs rank 18th in Rebel lore and ninth among players that participated since the turn of the century.
The Macon native had four 100-plus yard performances during his senior campaign in 2014 against Auburn (Ala.) University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Presbyterian (S.C.) College and the University of Tennessee, which is tied for fourth most in a single season in school history.
That number also puts Sanders in a stalemate for sixth all-time in career 100-yard performances with Floyd Franks, who accomplished this feat between the 1968-70 seasons.
He was part of the last game in which three Ole Miss wideouts accumulated over 100 yards. Current New York Giants tight end Evan Engram had 123 yards, Sanders netted 105 yards and Minnesota Vikings receiver Laquon Treadwell tallied 103 yards versus then-No. 3 Auburn on November 1, 2014.
Sanders made his debut in a red-and-blue uniform on September 3, 2011 against Brigham Young (Utah) University and secured his first-ever collegiate catch one week later in the Rebels’ triumph over Southern Illinois University.
He earned his inaugural start for Ole Miss that same year versus Louisiana Tech University. Sanders compiled 10 receptions for 110 yards as a freshman before transitioning into a more prominent role as a sophomore.
Sanders started in 12 games for the Rebels during the 2012 campaign and helped his team return to the postseason with a 7-6 overall record and a berth to the BBVA Compass Bowl.
He amassed 504 yards and four scores, which were both second most on the team. Sanders finished 14th in the rugged Southeastern Conference (SEC) with 51.8 receiving yards per game.
Sanders found his stride during the month of November with stellar outings against both Vanderbilt (Tenn.) University and Mississippi State University. He had five catches for 96 yards and a touchdown versus the Commodores then added another score plus 86 yards in an Egg Bowl win over the Bulldogs.
He completed his second year in Oxford by hauling in a second quarter touchdown from quarterback Bo Wallace in a 38-17 victory over the University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) in the BBVA Compass Bowl at historic Legion Field.
Sanders battled through a pair of injuries to contribute heavily during his junior campaign. He placed fourth on the squad with 324 yards and tied for fifth with 21 catches over nine appearances.
He did set a career-long with a 70-yard touchdown snag against then-No. 9 Texas A&M University inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on October 12, 2013. Sanders had a season-best four catches versus the University of Missouri during week 11.
Sanders was one of the stars for Ole Miss during its spectacular 2014 season in which it won seven straight games to begin the year, rose as high as No. 3 in the national rankings and earned a spot in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as part of the coveted New Year’s Six.
He topped the Rebels with 696 yards and tied Cody Core, who is now with the Cincinnati Bengals, for the team-lead in touchdowns with six. Sanders had the third most receptions for Ole Miss behind only Treadwell and Core with 39.
Sanders accounted for his first two scores of the year within five minutes of each other in a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette. He also posted a career-high 125 yards that day against the Ragin’ Cajuns.
Perhaps the biggest catch of his career came in the Rebels’ home triumph over the top-ranked University of Alabama on October 4, 2014. He reeled in a 34-yard touchdown toss from Wallace that tied the matchup at 17-17 with just 5:29 remaining in the fourth period.
He also scored that season in Ole Miss triumphs over Presbyterian and Tennessee. Sanders concluded his collegiate career with 1,635 yards for an average of 15 yards per catch.
Sanders was a two-way sensation at Noxubee County High School prior to joining the Rebels. He was a consensus top-five rated player in the Magnolia State by all major recruiting services and was a Dandy Dozen selection by The Clarion-Ledger.
He was recognized with All-State honors twice at the prep level. Sanders combined for 27 touchdowns during his junior and senior campaigns with the Tigers as both a quarterback and receiver.
Sanders won a Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class 4A state championship with Noxubee County in 2008. The Tigers bested D’Iberville High School in the title matchup at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson.
His coaching career began at Oxford Middle School under coach Perry Swindall in the fall of 2015. Sanders then transitioned to Corinth High School one year ago where he focused on wide receivers and kick returners as well.
Sanders graduated from Ole Miss in December 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in psychology.