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May 10, 2013

Auggie Sanchez anxious to start

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Of USF's 2013 class of recruits, perhaps no other player has been considered or played at so many positions as much as Auggie Sanchez.

Recruited as a fullback with talks of using the 6-foot 2-inch 215 pound incoming freshman as a tight end, Sanchez most recently spent his time on the field on the opposite side of the ball as a linebacker at St. Petersburg (Fla.) Northeast High School while even taking snaps at quarterback in the wildcat formation-some websites even have listed as a defensive end.

"Everyone liked him at so many different positions," Northeast coach Mike Jalazo said. "So what he winds up bringing is a kid who has a ton of versatility and a ridiculously high football I.Q."

Sanchez was essentially recruited to the backyard of his hometown of St. Petersburg where he proved to be a tackling machine for Northeast High School during his senior year.

The fullback turned linebacker, now fullback again, got to carry the football just four times his senior year for 18 yards, but totaled 160 tackles in 10 games.

To put things in perspective, that's 14.5 tackles per game-this was along with 3.3 sacks, a forced fumble and a pair of interceptions.

"A lot of times he was sort of a man among boys just because of his sheer size and what he can do on the football field." Jalazo said.

Now the Bulls, a team that snagged just two interceptions all last season, plan to put Sanchez's athleticism to work on the offense.

"What I talked about with Willie Taggart) is it's not too dissimilar with the way the New England Patriots use Aaron Hernandez where he can line up at fullback, he can line up in the backfield and he can line up at tight end." Jalazo said. "He creates mismatches."

In spite of the multitude of positions Sanchez could and did play, the incoming freshman doesn't mind where he is on the field as long as he can make an impact.

"I would love for them (USF) to come to me and say 'we want you to play linebacker', but really I'm open to playing whatever they want me to play." Sanchez said. "The quicker I get on the field the happier I'll be."

Once Sanchez does step foot onto the Raymond James field he joins another Sanchez that once sported the green and gold.

Auggie is the younger brother of former Bull Armando Sanchez and though Auggie is said to be lining up at fullback, Armondo played at linebacker while mainly playing on special teams.

"It's really cool to just carry on the tradition of a Sanchez playing at USF."

With the season right around the corner for the Bulls and his time on field coming soon, Sanchez mainly plans to focus on his conditioning to prepare for his role with USF

"I need to be better conditioned and I need to be stronger and faster," Sanchez said. "Probably the biggest transition is the amount of hours I put into it."

Though conditioning along with reviving his position as a fullback are toward the front of his mind, it's his excitement and work ethic that will be joining Sanchez in his freshman year.

"I'm a competitor," Sanchez said. "I hate losing more than I like winning, so I want to go out and win a spot and keep it for the next four years."



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