Sanzenbacher Excited To Be A Buckeye

We brought you a story on Dane Sanzenbacher earlier this month when he committed to Ohio State. We recently tracked him down for a Bucknuts Radio Hour interview and have even more from this talented WR/CB prospect. Sanzenbacher might play quarterback for his high school team this year, and says he isn't sure if he will graduate high school early to participate in spring ball.

Dane Sanzenbacher kept hearing he was too small to play for Ohio State. Not quite fast enough to play in the Big Ten.

But the star of the Division II state playoffs last year from Toledo Central Catholic kept plugging away and earned the scholarship he was hoping for. Sanzenbacher grew up an OSU fan and when the Buckeyes offered, he accepted soon after.

"It kind of came up quick to me with the whole tour going on – I was on the Ted Ginn Sr. bus tour," Sanzenbacher said. "I got a chance to see a lot of colleges and we ended up at Ohio State. I had a good workout there and they invited me back for the senior camp that Friday and they ended up offering me when I was on my way home.

"I had a lot of MAC offers going into the tour. During, Iowa offered me, so did Miami of Ohio. So, I was looking at those schools, and obviously Toledo and Bowling Green because they are around here and I grew up around that. But it's hard to pass up Ohio State."

Once Ohio State offered, it wasn't a difficult decision for Sanzenbacher (6-0, 180, 4.5).

"I tried to keep all the doors open when it happened, but the decision was already made up in my mind," he said. "Growing up as an Ohio kid, obviously the pinnacle of sports in Ohio is going to be Ohio State."

Sanzenbacher led Toledo Central Catholic to the 2005 Division II state championship. And according to head coach Greg Dempsey, he was "the show in the playoffs" last year. Overall in 2005, Sanzenbacher had 71 catches for 1,424 yards. He scored a total of 16 touchdowns, and intercepted 11 passes.

It was a huge season for him, but he still wasn't mentioned as one of the best players in the state. He knew MAC schools would offer him, but he wasn't sure if he would get any big-time offers.

"I was very open about it," Sanzenbacher said. "I didn't think it was going to blow up like this because I guess I'm considered undersized. I don't really think so, but by some of the standards today, I guess. And I maybe don't have the fastest 40. But I guess they saw something that they liked in me and here I am."

A big reason Sanzenbacher picked Ohio State was to get a chance to play for head coach Jim Tressel.

"I'm very excited about that," he said. "There couldn't be another coach that would equal that. Even if you talk to people around here, they are just awestruck that I have his cell phone number in my phone. They think he walks on water around here. So, it's very exciting."

Toledo Central Catholic graduated its starting quarterback last year, and Sanzenbacher could play QB this year according to Dempsey.

"Well, that's still open," Sanzenbacher said. "We haven't really started the process of narrowing it down; we're just in conditioning right now. But we did have a transfer quarterback come in from another school in our city and he can actually fill the role very well, I think. So, we're just going to see what happens. I've been playing backup quarterback for the last two years. I actually came to Central as a quarterback, but there was a lot of senior leadership in front of me and seniors that were playing quarterback and I just moved out to wideout and I've been there ever since. So, we'll see what happens, but it will probably be wideout."

Sanzenbacher is a do-everything player in high school. In addition to playing wide receiver, he plays cornerback and returns kicks. He was asked if he will definitely play wide receiver in college, or if he might play defensive back.

"Well, I'm just going to go in with an open mind," he said. "But I was recruited as a wide receiver, so I'm sure that's where they will look first."

Sanzenbacher carries a 3.3 GPA and scored a 27 on his ACT, and probably could graduate high school early if he wants to so he can participate in OSU's 2007 spring practices. But he is still not sure what he will do.

"I haven't really thought about that too much yet. I guess I'll just have to stay in contact with Coach Tressel and everything and my coaches and see what would be the best for both of us."

Sanzenbacher was asked what makes him such a standout football player.

"I guess it would be decision-making," he said. "I have good speed I think – my 40 doesn't really show my field speed or football speed so much. I'm not a big fan of the combine testing to be honest with you. But, I can't really put my finger on what it is that gets it done. I don't know. Somebody up there must like me a lot."

He doesn't have many weaknesses, but there is always room for improvement.

"My big thing right now is just getting my speed up," he said. "It's all right where it is now, but I know at the next level playing college football, especially for a team like Ohio State in the Big Ten, you have to be fast. It's all about speed these days. So, that's my main goal."

Sanzenbacher is already building relationships with other future Buckeyes.

"I've actually already got some calls from fellow Ohio State recruits," he said. "Nate Oliver actually called me the other day just to say congratulations and see how everything was going on and when I would be down in Columbus so we could meet up."

As for TCC's chances of a state title repeat, Sanzenbacher knows it will be difficult, but he and his teammates are going to give it run.

"Yeah, I'm sure we've got a huge target on us, but I think we can make another run at it if everybody comes together," he said. "I wasn't too sure about last year, so you can see how well I judge it. So, I'm just going to play it by ear and hopefully some good things will happen again."

* For the entire Sanzenbacher interview, tune in to the Bucknuts Radio Hour.

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