SAU alum a finalist on ABC’s ‘Make Me A Star’

Derrick LeMont SandersDerrick LeMont Sanders, Southern Arkansas University alum from Marianna, Ark., is one of six finalists for ABC’s “Make Me A Star” public audition competition.

Sanders was selected among the digital video entries by ABC’s casting office.

Sanders, who was recruited to SAU to play football and was a Mulerider letterman for four years, said that he had a little more time on campus after completing his eligibility on the field. He said he was involved in a lot of things on campus, like being a resident assistant for Talley Hall.

“I wanted to explore things and do things outside my business education requirements,” said Sanders. “I took desktop publishing, photography, a couple of acting classes and got involved with the theatre department. It was there that I decided this would be something I wanted to pursue.”

Sanders said his fellow acting class students at SAU noticed his talent and urged him to change his major to theatre. He said he would just laugh because he was so close to his earning a business degree.

He did receive a B.B.A. in business administration in 1997, and then headed to New York City to work and learn more about the art of acting at Circle in the Square Theatre School. He is now in Los Angeles, and after four years there he said his acting career is starting to take off.

He still has a lot of fond memories of his time at SAU. He visited for the 2012 homecoming game and was blown away by the growth of campus and of SAU’s version of pre-game tailgating – “Mulegating.”

“The tailgating experience has come a long way since I was there, and I could never participate because I was playing football,” said Sanders. “My visit was kind of somber last year, though, because I found out that Coach Jay Adcox, a football coach while I was at SAU who later became the athletic director, had passed away. Whenever I would come back to visit SAU, I would make a point to find him…usually in the gym.”

Sanders said he would like to make it back to this year’s homecoming game and Mulegating.

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