IRVINE, Calif. – Gabe Sanchez of Modesto (Calif.) Joseph Gregori didn't only pop up on Air Force's radar because of his ability to attack through the air. His 19 catches for 310 yards and a team-leading 4 touchdowns on a rush-first team certainly helped raise his profile, but it was his 4.4 GPA that really did the trick.
The 2018 tight end, who received a full-ride offer from the Falcons on April 28, wants to become an orthopedic surgeon and help heal ailments for football players.
“Playing football for a majority of my life, injuries are common," Sanchez told Scout. "And just to give back (through being an orthopedic surgeon) will be nice."
The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Sanchez got the offer to attend the service academy from offensive coordinator Mike Thiessen.
“He flew down from Colorado. He met with me on Wednesday (April 26) and showed quite a bit of interest in me at the time," Sanchez said. "Then I got a phone call on Friday and they offered. It’s quite intriguing because I want to go to medical school. He (Thiessen) told me that med school is also in this deal."
Sanchez has spent this offseason enhancing his wide receiving skills with the Modesto-based 7v7 team Valley’s Got Talent, but he's more known for his ability to provide an extra set of powerful hands and nastiness in the run game. Nevertheless, Sanchez believes he’s capable of being an explosive receiver as well.
“I play down a majority of my time. I’m a blocking tight end but I am versatile enough to catch that 70-yard seam route or catch a 5-yard route and then turn it up field,” Sanchez said.