Texas A&M football portal profiles: Donovan Saunders is a future NFL corner

An underrated pickup from Cal Poly, Saunders was originally committed to TCU before Elko flipped him to Texas A&M football.

Oct 23, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA;  Texas A&M Aggies helmet on the sideline during the
Oct 23, 2021; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies helmet on the sideline during the / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Donovan Saunders is a raw talent but a future star for Texas A&M football

Back before the huge explosion of portal commitments that Mike Elko pulled in for Texas A&M football had begun in earnest—at least, to the fans’ knowledge—the Maroon and White faithful were hoping to pull in one, maybe two big names in the early window to address some needs. Little did anyone imagine that Elko would bring in 24 players in total at that point—so, as is human nature, Aggie fans had their minds set on one or two guys who they believed to be difference makers, and glossed over most everyone else.

One of the guys who unfortunately got a little lost in that shuffle was former Cal Poly DB Donovan Saunders. Saunders had been committed to TCU before visiting College Station with his high school teammate Marcus Ratcliffe, who also ended up committing to the Aggies. These were viewed as nice pickups at the time, but the more I’ve heard about Saunders, the more certain I’ve become that the Aggies have picked up a future star.

There’s not much to find on Saunders out there—of course, being a corner from a small school, that’s not necessarily out of the ordinary. He started seven games for Cal Poly as a freshman in 2022, notching a pair of interceptions. In his sophomore season, though, he grabbed three INTs, showing a real nose for the ball against some of the stiffer competition in FCS—Sac State and Montana are not pushovers!

More than the production coming in, though, is his projection that excites me. Saunders boasts a long, rangy frame at 6’3” and 185 LBs, and has shown great speed and suddenness on tape. He is the exact prototype of a Mike Elko corner, and I can see him fitting right in on this defense.

That may not be this season, however. As I mentioned before, Saunders is a bit raw, and with the amount of defensive backs competing in the room this spring, it may be his lot for this year to start as a backup. As he continues to get snaps, though, he is going to become a nightmare for opposing receivers. Hopefully, we will see him achieve that potential sooner rather than later.