LB Sanchez getting look at fullback this spring
USF coach Skip Holtz expects to do a lot of positional experimenting this spring, juggling his offensive linemen and giving the occasional linebacker a look at safety and vice versa. But moves from one side of the ball to the other are more significant, and the Bulls are making one such change before spring practice begins on Tuesday, shifting linebacker Armando Sanchez to fullback.
The move isn't necessarily a permanent one, but it's moving a special-teams leader from a position of great depth (linebacker) to one with nearly no depth this spring. With Jeff Hawkins sidelined this spring with injury, USF's only scholarship fullback is seldom-used Chase Griffiths, himself a converted linebacker, and rather than be low on the depth chart on defense, Sanchez will have a chance to be a starter at fullback.
Sanchez, 5-foot-11 and 220 pounds, has an offensive background, having played quarterback (and safety) at St. Petersburg's Northeast High. The rising junior has been USF's top special-teams tackler the past two seasons, with most of his 33 total tackles in those two seasons coming on kickoff and punt coverage. Sanchez is also the Bulls' most decorated academic standout, having earned a 4.0 grade-point average last fall, enough to earn the team's Scholar Athlete award at the football postseason banquet.