MOBILE, Ala. This is a life-changing week for defensive lineman Khalen Saunders of western Illinois.
In more ways than one.
Saunders, who recently went viral for a video of a backflip with 320 pounds on the Internet, is taking part in Senior Week's activities this week. On Tuesday he and his fiancée Ayanna also welcomed a little girl, Kambridge.
I AM A FATHER !!!!!!!!!! Thank you, God, for your continued blessing. I love you so much, Kambridge Vonyea Saunders. Daddy is coming home soon.
– Khalen Saunders (@khalenNOTkaylen) January 22, 2019
Saunders's fiancé had told him that she had arrived here this week.
"She calls me and is like 'I feel reckless' and all that stuff," said Saunders. "She felt reckless before, it just so happens that she is pregnant, next I knew I was on Snapchat and I would see her in the Scrubs hospital bed, I immediately FaceTimed her like," Hold on 'You said you were dizzy, you did not say that. & # 39; She was in the hospital.
"Her mother is with her, and I am very happy about it – that she has at least someone with whom she is very close and who can support her throughout the process. I am out here."
Die imminent arrival of his daughter left Saunders in a difficult place. He desperately wanted to be there when his child arrived, but he also knew that this week could give him the best chance of improving his design, and thus the family's financial future.
Saunders said he and his fiancée agreed that it would be best for him to stay in Mobile to attend this week's activities.
"I will most likely not be in the game [on Saturday] if at all, but if she has the baby, I'm sure I'll do a few exercises, because I'll have to prove myself a little before I go," Saunders had previously said "So that's my plan."
According to Saunders, the baby was due on January 31, but there were signs that she might have arrived earlier. Ayanna had widened and knew it might be possible Missing his daughter's birth to play in the North Team trained by Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders this week.
Saunders as a small school has the prospect He has not had much with NFL coaches and scouts against the top rivals It's not a slam-dunk election, experts in the ESPN NFL believe Saunders has a chance to get involved in a good week's conversation on day 2.
It's the time of the year, whom n small school children show that they can compete on the big stage. This is a 320-pound pound in western Illinois, DT Khalen Saunders ( @ khalenNOTkaylen ), who heads to the Senior Bowl next week. Backflips in its size …. pic.twitter.com/s6QjAkA3zO
– Adam Schefter January 16, 2019
With this, Saunders knows every week this week is an opportunity to open some eyes. His fiancee knew that, too, which encouraged him to stay.
"I come from a smaller school and I know that," Saunders said. "That's ultimately why I chose to stay because I can not afford the luxury of just thinking that I'm going to go into the design, I have to earn everything I get Come on school, this is the perfect I can compete against the best rivals in the nation, play against some of the most talented men in the world, this is a huge opportunity, man.
"I'm so thankful and blessed here. There are a lot of people who want to be in my position right now, and I would be stupid to go home. Use what these guys could not use. I stay here. I am ready to work.
And if everything goes according to plan and Saunders is drafted and goes on to a solid NFL career, he knows what this could mean for the future of his family.
"I would obviously like to be there with my baby," Saunders said. " I really wish I could. That's all for her. All this is for my fiancée and my mother and for my family. That's the biggest reason why I wanted to stay. "