Sanzenbacher Owns Big Ten Offer From Iowa

Almost out of nowhere, Dane Sanzenbacher of Toledo Central Catholic has become a player that schools in the Big Ten are quickly becoming aware of. Being on the Ted Ginn Foundation Bus Tour has definitely helped him in the recruiting process, but Sanzenbacher has also helped himself by leading his team to a state football title and then finishing fourth in the 400 meters at the state track meet.

Fresh off of a fourth-place finish in the 400-meters at the Division I state meet in Columbus, where he established a personal best time in the event of 48.60 seconds, Dane Sanzenbacher of Toledo Central Catholic was out on the football circuit with the Ted Ginn Foundation Bus Tour, trying to enhance his situation in the recruiting process going forward.

At the very end of the 12-day tour, Sanzenbacher found himself back in Columbus, just next to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, working out for the Ohio State football coaches.

"The tour went pretty well for me. There was a lot of traveling with a lot of long bus rides but I got to see a lot of campuses along the way," Sanzenbacher said. "I got an offer from Iowa and Bowling Green so that was definitely a plus that came out of it. But it was a long and I'm glad to be home."

Prior to the tour, Sanzenbacher, an elusive receiver who's equally adept at the cornerback position on the defensive side of the ball for the Irish, had scholarship offers from Toledo, Ball State, Kent State and Ohio University.

"On the tour we were at Bowling Green first and they offered me at their camp," Sanzenbacher said. "And I called Iowa a few days after the work out there and they offered."

The Iowa offer obviously gives him a foot in the door to other offers from the Big Ten now.

"I think it's definitely going to open up a lot of doors as far as the Big Ten schools go. Usually when one school jumps on then you get a couple more so hopefully that happens," Sanzenbacher said. "It's nice. It really is. I didn't think everything was going to happen that fast but the tour gave me a lot of opportunities and I guess I was lucky."

But Sanzenbacher isn't just lucky, he's pretty darn good when he's on the gridiron too.

In the Division II state championship game against Canfield, for instance, Sanzenbacher had four catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns of 39 and 60 yards in their 31-29 victory. Sanzenbacher also carried the ball three times for 22 yards and had an interception on defense during the game.

"When I talked to Coach Ferentz he basically just said that I was somewhat of what they were looking for in one of their players, that I fit their profile, so he offered me," Sanzenbacher said. "It was pretty exciting."

It's like there's a whole new world in front of Sanzenbacher now and he's certainly anxious to find out what's out there.

"As of pretty much right now I'm wide open but I definitely think that broadens the outlook on all of the colleges that I'm looking at," he said. "Now that Iowa offered, like I said, hopefully it will open the eyes of other schools to look at me."

Sanzenbacher didn't really know what he was in store for when he signed on for the tour but he's glad that he did.

"I wasn't really familiar with what was going to go on in the bus tour," he said. "I just got a brief description of everything and I knew we were going to hit a lot of colleges and do workouts with the coaches and everything, but it surpassed what I was even thinking of on the trip. It was definitely a positive trip."

At the very least, Sanzenbacher made friends with a whole new group of people, be it coaches and players, on the tour.

"It was a great opportunity to be able to meet everybody that was on the bus for one because they're all good players," he said. "I got to meet Coach Ginn obviously and when we got back to Columbus on the last day we ended up eating lunch with Troy Smith and Ted Ginn Jr. so that was pretty nice too. I got to talk to Ted Jr. a lot at the camp and he was giving me pointers and stuff so that was nice."

The tour certainly lit a fire under Sanzenbacher with regard to the recruiting process.

"There's even more motivation now from going on the tour and getting the looks from all of the different colleges," he said. "I think Coach Ginn helped out a lot though as far as having the coaches open their eyes to me. He put in a good word for me so I'm thankful for him. But I think this definitely has opened up a lot of doors."

The stop at Ohio State marked the end of the long and arduous trek for Sanzenbacher and the Ginn Bus Tour.

"The Ohio State stop was tiring coming at the end of the road and everything and I was ready to go home after that one," Sanzenbacher said. "But that camp wasn't as strenuous as the other ones were. We came later on in the camp and we just jumped into the drills with the coaches and did a little individual work but it wasn't as much one-on-one and special attention as the other ones. So I'm not sure what kind of impression they got."

Sanzenbacher, who was generously listed at 6-0 and 170 pounds on the state title game roster, is definitely thinking about coming down for the senior camp at Ohio State on Friday.

"I hadn't really planned on going to any other camps yet. After 12 in-a-row I was going to take a little break for a little bit," he said. "But I have talked to the coaches at Ohio State about coming back this Friday and I was scheduled to do it, even before I was on the bus, so we'll see. I might be down there on Friday. But besides that I don't really have anything else lined up."

It would give him a fresh chance to make a final impression on the coaching staff at Ohio State prior to the start of his senior season.

"They looked at me a little bit through the drills and stuff that we were doing but we didn't get to do any one-on-ones or seven-on-sevens or anything like that," said Sanzenbacher who has been consistently clocked in the 4.6 range in the 40-yard dash. "At the other colleges that's where I was getting my best looks. I'm not going to run a blazing 40 time or anything like that so competing in one-on-ones is when I'd really have my best chance of opening their eyes."

Sanzenbacher, despite the close proximity to the state of Michigan, has been a longtime Buckeye fan and would obviously love to have an offer from Ohio State materialize at some point down the line.

"I was definitely an Ohio State fan over Michigan," he said. "And my dad is a big Ohio State fan too so I'm sure he'd be really happy to see me go there. Growing up in Ohio, pretty much any kid playing football in Ohio, that's what you're looking at, having a chance to play football at Ohio State."

The two-way similarities between Sanzenbacher on the football field and current Buckeye Tony Gonzalez when he was in high school are actually pretty amazing.

"I've heard that before but I don't know where that actually stems from," said Sanzenbacher who doesn't have the blazing track speed that Gonzalez has. "(Like Gonzalez) I would prefer to play receiver in college, personally, but I can play defense too, that would be great."

Most of the schools are recruiting him as a wide out.

"I've done a little bit of work at DB at some of the camps but most of the schools have been looking at me as a wide out," said Sanzenbacher who also participated in the Nike camp at Ohio State back in early May. "But I have no real preference."

Other than possibly playing either position somewhere in the Big Ten.

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