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Miles Sanders, Shareef Miller To Make NFL Draft Decisions Soon

Penn State running back Miles Sanders and defensive end Shareef Miller didn’t declare for the 2019 NFL draft after the Citrus Bowl, but said they will make their decisions soon.

Sanders finished with 13 carries for 51 yards and hauled in two catches for seven more yards in Penn State’s 27-24 loss to Kentucky. Miller recorded eight tackles (three solo, one for loss) Tuesday in Orlando. “I just want to take my time,” Miller said of his decision. “I hate losing. I hate it.”

Sanders tallied 1,413 all-purpose yards and nine rushing touchdowns during a strong junior campaign for the Nittany Lions. One can make a solid case either way for the Pittsburgh native to leave school early for the draft or return for his senior season.

Last year, Saquon Barkley waited until the day after Penn State’s 35-28 win over Washington in the Fiesta Bowl to announce on Instagram he was off to the NFL. Sanders barely edged out Barkley’s junior season rushing numbers with three more yards on the ground than Penn State’s newest Pro Bowler had in 2017.

Miller had 41 tackles (15 for loss) as a redshirt junior this season.

Sanders would be competing with running backs like Kentucky’s Benny Snell Jr. at the combine if he decides to go pro. Snell, a junior who declared for the draft December 14, took home Citrus Bowl MVP honors after his 144-yard, two-touchdown performance.

“He’s a great running back,” Miller said of Snell. “He reminds me of Le’Veon Bell because he’s so patient. I ain’t ever played against a back like him all year. A lot of backs I play in the Big Ten, they all hit the hole, but he’s actually patient and he’ll come to a complete stop and wait till everything develops.”

James Franklin and Ja’Juan Seider would have an embarrassment of riches to rely on in Penn State’s backfield should Sanders return for one more season, especially with recent 2019 signees and Under Armour All-Americans Devyn Ford and Noah Cain arriving soon.

“It was a tough season. It was a tough game,” Sanders said. “It would have been way better had we come out with the W today, but it just shows that we still have a lot of potential and we have a lot of talent on this team to be really great and get to where we want to be.”

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]

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