Raheim Sanders Fantasy Profile: How High is Too High For His 2023 Season Projections?

Raheim Sanders' player profile dives into how the Arkansas running back rose to stardom and looks at his potential value in 2023.

Raheim Sanders was a 6’2″, 237-pound 4-star running back coming out of high school. With his recruiting pedigree, it was expected that Sanders would become the workhorse back of the future for the Arkansas Razorbacks. After not playing much as a freshman, Sanders broke onto the national scene during his sophomore season.

What is Sanders’ ceiling as a prospect and what should you expect from him in 2023?

Is Raheim Sanders Already The Next Great College Running Back?

Stepping onto campus, Sanders found himself behind Trelon Smith. The Razorbacks’ “senior” running back was coming off a 700-rushing-yard season as a redshirt junior and was a nationally-known commodity.

MORE: Arkansas Coaching Staff, 2023

Even though Sanders didn’t take over the three-down role immediately, he was hyper-efficient in Arkansas’ split backfield.

Sanders’ 2021 Season Recap

While Smith landed on the Doak Walker Award watch list, Sanders performed well past expectations in his first season in Fayetteville.

Smith posted a stat line of 598 rushing yards and five touchdowns on just 119 attempts. Sanders was just as good, running for 578 yards with five touchdowns on his 114 attempts.

Even though Sanders wasn’t used much as a pass catcher in his first season, he still outperformed Smith as a receiver. Sanders had an 11-109-1 stat line through the air compared to Smith’s 4-21-0 in 2021.

Sanders’ 2022 Season Recap

During the offseason, Smith transferred to UTSA for his last year of eligibility. Arkansas’ backfield was wide open for Sanders to take charge.

Sanders – who has a BMI of 28.9 –  didn’t disappoint with his opportunity to be a workhorse back.

A bright spot during an otherwise disappointing Arkansas season, Sanders ran for 1,443 yards and 10 touchdowns on 222 carries. What was most impressive, however, was his improved pass-catching ability.

In his second season, Sanders put up a 28-271-2 stat line in the receiving game. This exceptional play led Sanders to the All-SEC First Team from us at College Football Network as well as the AP and USA Today.

2023 Projection for Sanders

Heading into 2023, it’s fair to expect Sanders to improve and etch his name as one of the best running backs in college football. He was just listed as the second-ranked running back in the CFN SEC RB Rankings.

By all accounts, this Arkansas team underperformed last year. It’s safe to say we don’t expect that to continue in 2023. In an improved offense that stays on the field longer and takes more trips to the red zone, Sanders will have more upside than ever.

The secondary piece to an expected revitalization for Arkansas is fellow running back and former three-star recruit Rashod Dubinion. A solid pass catcher, Dubinion isn’t slated to hawk many carries from Sanders during his sophomore season.

For 2023, it wouldn’t be out of this world to see Sanders eclipse 1,600 rushing yards and 10+ rushing touchdowns on the ground. Making his potential value even higher is his linear progression through the air which could see him total over 30 receptions, 350 yards, and three touchdowns.

This is expecting a lot from Sanders, but after evaluating what he’s accomplished so far, it’s a very reasonable projection. After an electrifying first two years in college football, there’s no doubt that Sanders can perform as one of the best running backs in college football.

Raheim Sanders Player Profile

  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 237
  • Number: 5
  • Class: Junior
  • Hometown: Rockledge, Florida
  • High School: Rockledge
  • Years Active: 2021-2023
  • Previous School(s): n/a
  • Draft Eligibility: 2024

Raheim Sanders’ Career Rushing Stats

  • Career Attempts: 336
  • Career Rush Yards: 2,021
  • TDs: 15
  • Yards Per Carry: 6.0
  • Yards Per Game: 77.7

Raheim Sanders’ Career Receiving Stats

  • Career Receptions: 39
  • Career Receiving Yards: 380
  • Career Receiving TDs: 3
  • Yards Per Catch: 9.7
  • Yards Per Game: 14.6