JACKSONVILLE, Fla - The Jacksonville Jaguars signed 2013 fourth-round draft pick Ace Sanders to a contract, the club announced today. Sanders, a wide receiver/punt returner, was the 101st overall pick in the draft following a trade with Philadelphia. All players under contract are scheduled to report to training camp on Thursday, July 25 with the first practice scheduled the following day.
“Ace had a productive offseason of work and he gives us a different facet for our offense,” Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said. “You can see his speed and quickness with the ball in his hands. His quickness jumps out on tape and we are excited about his ability to make plays for us.”
“I can’t wait to get started again later this month,” Sanders said. “I’m looking forward to getting back to work and finding my role in the passing game and as a returner. I am blessed to be a part of a great organization with such positive energy and a lockerroom and coaching staff that is committed to getting better every day.”
The Jaguars traded their fourth-round pick (98th overall) to Philadelphia for a fourth-round pick (101st overall) which was used to select Sanders and also obtained a seventh-round pick (210th overall).
Sanders, 5-7, 178, finished his career at South Carolina with 99 receptions for 1,230 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 11.2-yard on 53 punt returns with three scores. He registered a career-high 45 catches for 531 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior in 2012. He ranked fourth nationally with a 15.3-yard punt return average with two of those kicks returned for touchdowns. The second-team All-SEC performer was also selected as the conference’s co-Special Teams Player of the Year in his final season after recording eight punt returns of 27 yards or more.
The Bradenton, Florida native started eight of 13 games as a sophomore in 2011 and finished with 29 catches for 383 yards and two touchdowns. He added 16 punt returns for a 9.3-yard average and one score. He played in all 14 games as a freshman and was named to the Freshman All-SEC team by the league’s coaches.
Sanders attended Manatee High School in Bradenton and helped his team to the Florida State Class 5A Championship game as a senior. He finished his final season with 65 receptions for 990 yards and 10 touchdowns. His father, Tracy, played football for legendary coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State from 1976-79 and later played professionally in the NFL and World Football League.