Two months after receiving an offer from Brown University, tight end Gabe Sanchez has committed to becoming a Bear.
The Gregori High senior announced his decision on Twitter, thanking his family, friends, coaches and mentors for their support. A 6-foot-5, 225-pound target with soft hands, Sanchez was courted by the Air Force Academy, University of San Diego, Dartmouth and Yale, among others.
He chose Brown, an Ivy League campus in Providence, Rhode Island.
In a Jan. 31 post, Sanchez wrote: "Proud to announce my commitment to the Ivy League and Brown University." He joins a program that hasn't had a winning season since 2013-14 and finished 2-8 last fall, losing its final seven games.
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Sanchez, who was named to the all-Modesto Metro Conference and All-District football teams, elaborated on his decision: "I am proud to announce that I will be continuing my football career at the Division I collegiate level. I first want to thank God for all my blessing(s), my parents, coaches, friends, family, teachers, counselors, and my mentors for guiding me along the way. I couldn't have done it without your support. A special thank you to Gregori High School and the coaches I've had throughout the years for developing me into the player I am today."
Sanchez pushed the Gregori High football program along a historic path this past fall. The Jaguars won their first 11 games, punctuating a perfect regular season and the school's first league title with a home playoff win.
Sanchez was quarterback Bobby Avina's favorite target, and rightfully so. Along with being the biggest player in the huddle, Sanchez was also Avina's best friend, a kinship that played out in spectacular fashion on Friday evenings. Sanchez had 56 catches for 941 yards and 11 touchdowns, all team highs.
"We first started playing Pop Warner football around ... 8, 9 years old," Sanchez recently told The Bee's Joe Cortez. "We had the best chemistry. If we saw something in crunch time, we just gave each other the look and ran the play."
The announcement comes just days after Sanchez was named a Central Valley Automotive Player with Drive Scholarship major award winner.
Sanchez earned the scholarship's top prize -- a $5,000 check -- which reflected his total body of work as a student-athlete. Sanchez sports a 4.39 grade-point average. Other winners included Avina ($3,000) and Manteca quarterback Gino Campiotti ($2,000), who is committed to Northern Arizona University.