“I honestly think Caden's better than Joel,” said running back Alec James, who also returns after scoring 14 total TDs last season. “I think he's a little tougher and a little faster.
“Him playing free safety for us last year did a lot, so hopefully him at quarterback can do some, too.”
Sander has spent the spring working on his release point along with adjusting to becoming the team leader, where it's already evident he has embraced it by his brief but encouraging comments to teammates during practices.
“He is one of the greatest leaders of anybody I've ever been around here,” Gower said. “Our team just gravitates to him, they follow him.”
Now, it's just a matter of trying to find time for him to take a break at some point during the game.
Sander returned three punts for touchdowns last season, and Gower still hasn't decided if he will put his quarterback in those situations. Sander will, however, try to talk his way onto the field for every play.
“From my personal view, I want to contribute as much as I can,” he said. “But I understand I've got to rest sometimes, but I hope I can stay on the field as much as I can.”