C. J. Sanders
SMU MustangsNo. 3
Wide receiver Senior
Date of birth: (1996-09-18) September 18, 1996 (age 23)
Place of birth: Granada Hills, California, U.S.
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 180 lb (82 kg; 12 st 12 lb)
Career history
High school: Notre Dame
(Sherman Oaks, California)
* Notre Dame (2015–2017)
  • SMU (2018–present)
Bowl games
* 2016 Fiesta Bowl
Career highlights and awards

C. J. Sanders (born September 18, 1996) is an American football wide receiver for the SMU Mustangs. Sanders has had acting roles in several Hollywood movies and television shows.[1]

High schoolEdit

Sanders attended Brentwood Academy in Brentwood, Tennessee for his first three seasons. After moving to California with his family, he transferred to Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks, California for his senior year.[2][3] Sanders had 35 catches for 562 yards and eight touchdowns. He also carried the ball 41 times for 437 yards for nine touchdowns. On special teams, he added four total touchdowns, including two on kickoffs and two on punts.[4]

Considered a four-star recruit by, he was rated as the 37th best wide receiver prospect of his class.[5] He accepted a scholarship offer and committed to play college football at the University of Notre Dame.[6][7]

Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
C. J. Sanders
[[Granada Hills, California]] Notre Dame High School 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 177 lb (80 kg) 4.32 May 6, 2014 
Scout:75px   Rivals:75px   ESPN grade: 80
Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 39 (WR), 8 (CA), 9 (regional), 268 (national)   Rivals: 37 (WR)  ESPN: 42 (CA)
  • Note: In many cases, Scout and Rivals may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, an average of the two was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


Acting careerEdit

Sanders was an American child actor whose notable roles include the movie Ray, where he played a young Ray Charles, and the television show Six Feet Under, where he played Anthony Charles-Fisher in a number of episodes.[1]He also played in the movie First Sunday as Ice Cube's son Durell, Jr.

He was nominated for several awards for his performance in Ray, including a Black Reel Award, an NAACP Image Award, an OFTA Award, and a Young Artist Awards.[8] He also guest starred in a few television shows, such as Judging Amy, Cold Case, Grey's Anatomy and Saved.[1]

College careerEdit


A standout in summer practices, Sanders was named the starting punt returner for Notre Dame and later took over kick return duties as well.[9]

Sanders emerged as a standout in his special teams role. Against UMass, Sanders returned a punt 50 yards for a touchdown in just his fourth collegiate game.[10] Later in the season, Sanders returned a kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown against Stanford.[11]


C.J.'s father is former NFL wide receiver Chris Sanders.[12] His step-father, Corey Harris, is former safety who played 12 seasons in the NFL.[9]

C.J. has his own non-profit organization, CJ’s Gift Foundation, whose mission is to "promote self-esteem and self-worth among disadvantaged and at risk youth and their parents" and "to purposefully seek-out and reach-out to families who have been forgotten, overlooked and left out of opportunities that produce positive change and inspire hope."[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "C.J. Sanders". IMDb.
  2. "Brentwood Academy WR C.J. Sanders to transfer". Brentwood Home Page.
  3. Los Angeles Times (June 9, 2014). "CJ Sanders is impact transfer for Sherman Oaks Notre Dame".
  4. "Strong Senior Season Ends For C.J. Sanders". Irish247.
  5. "CJ Sanders".
  6. "C.J. Sanders Picks Notre Dame". Irish247.
  7. "'Ray' actor and son of ex-Titans WR signs with Notre Dame".
  8. "C.J. Sanders Awards". IMDb.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Notebook: Notre Dame freshman C.J. Sanders emerges in return game".
  10. "UMass vs. Notre Dame".
  11. "Notre Dame vs Stanford".
  12. Greenberg, Pierce (September 1, 2011) BA's Sanders to face dad in football matchup.

External linksEdit

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