Texas TE Ja’Tavion Sanders entering NFL draft

Field Level Media

January 06, 2024 at 9:39 pm.

Texas standout tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, he told ESPN on Saturday.

Sanders is regarded as one of the top draft prospects at tight end after Georgia’s Brock Bowers, who has also declared for the draft.

“It’s been a childhood dream to play college football and get to the NFL,” Sanders, a 6-foot-4, 243-pound junior, said in a phone interview on Saturday. “It’s just a blessing to be where I’m at today.”

Sanders is the Longhorns’ career receptions leader for a tight end (99), and his 1,295 career yards is second at the position behind David Thomas (1,367 from 2002-05). He also caught seven touchdown passes in three seasons.

He had 45 receptions for 682 yards and two TDs while dealing with an ankle injury in the second half of this season. Sanders make six catches for 75 yards in the Longhorns’ 37-31 loss to Washington on Jan. 1 in the Sugar Bowl, a semifinal in the College Football Playoff.

As a sophomore, he was All-Big 12 first-team selection with 613 yards and five TDs on 54 receptions — the latter a school single-season record for catches for a tight end.

Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy, a junior, earlier declared for the draft, and wideout Jordan Whittington graduated. Junior receiver Adonai Mitchell has not announced his plans for the 2024 season.