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Sanborn's risk on verge of paying off

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times Staff Writer
Published January 31, 2008


For long snapper Garrison Sanborn, the Saturday morning workout at Jesuit High in October 2002 didn't seem to be extraordinary.

It only turned out that way.

Then a prep senior, Sanborn drew rave reviews from a former Jesuit standout and teammate, Florida State kicker Xavier Beitia, who was home on a bye weekend.

"He told me, 'You've got to come to Florida State,'" said Sanborn, a lightly recruited prospect at the time who figured he would accept a scholarship offer from UCF.

"I begged him" to walk on, Beitia said. "I told him, 'You will play. I promise you, you will play. I know how good you are.'"

Sanborn could rifle the ball back to the holder or punter with precision. For a placekicker, how quickly and cleanly the ball can be put down goes a long way toward determining whether he'll accurately boot it. Back in Tallahassee, Beitia talked up Sanborn to his coaches, hoping they would encourage him to come.

"I took a chance," Sanborn said.

It paid off for all parties. He earned the starting job at that most specialized of spots as a redshirt junior in 2006 and was rewarded with a scholarship. In his final two years, he was nearly flawless on snaps on field goals, extra points and punts.

Sanborn parlayed his efforts into invites to both last week's prestigious Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., and this week's Texas vs. the Nation all-star game in El Paso, Texas. Both games brought in just two long snappers, one for each team.

"There's no individual accolades for snapper, there's no All-American or end of the season award, but just to be recognized as one of the top two in the nation is a real honor," the 6-foot-1, 238-pound Sanborn said.

He has done that so far.

The old-fashioned way.

"He's a tremendous worker and he just didn't want to be good at it, but great at it," said former longtime Jesuit coach Dominic Ciao, now at Berkeley Prep.

RECRUITING UPDATE: The Seminoles are up to 21 oral commitments (not including the three players who already enrolled) with the recent additions of Plant offensive tackle Rhonne Sanderson, Tallahassee Lincoln receiver Josh Gehres and the recommitment of heralded athlete A.J. Alexander from Altoona, Pa.

ANOTHER CHANCE: Peter Warrick is one of four former Seminoles on the roster for the Florida team in the new All American Football League. The others are safety Kyler Hall, defensive end Charles Howard and cornerback Leroy Smith.

GOING EXTRA: For the second time in school history, the women's basketball team has played consecutive overtime games, winning at Miami 75-70 on Jan.24 then losing at home to Virginia on Saturday 69-66. Up next is a trip to Georgia Tech on Sunday. A third straight OT would match the school record set in 2004-05 when FSU beat Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia Tech in overtime.

PRESCIENT WORDS: As his team prepared for Tuesday night's game at Virginia Tech, basketball coach Leonard Hamilton said his struggling bunch would have "to find a way to get totally in synch if we're going to move up a little higher" in the ACC standings. FSU fell behind 18-4, lost 89-80 and fell to 2-5 in the league.

Brian Landman can be reached at landman@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3347.