It was about 10 years ago. Suited up in his dirtied jersey and his oversized helmet and pads, 10-year-old Josh Sanguinetti stood near the hash marks and dashed toward the end zone. His resulting touchdown catch after “like seven overtimes” lifted his Lauderdale Lakes Vikings to a Super Bowl appearance.
Sanguinetti said that’s his most memorable football moment, but he’s hoping to make plenty more memories at the next level. Evaluators believe he has the ability to do so.
Sanguinetti, a rising senior safety at Fort Lauderdale’s Nova Southeastern University School, is rated as the nation’s 49th-best player by the 247Sports Composite. He’s also billed as its fifth-best athlete.
His highlight film shows what his 6-2, 165-pound frame would suggest: A lanky playmaker. The film features him breaking up passes at corner, making moves at receiver and returning punts.
“I play everything,” he’s quick to point out.
But in college, he’s hoping to play defensive back. And the Florida Gators are among the teams he’s considering.
He said Dan Mullen and his new staff got in touch with him soon after taking over to re-offer him. Florida, however, faces several obstacles to land a pledge from one of South Florida’s top recruits.
First is history. Sanguinetti grew up rooting for the hometown Miami Hurricanes and the cross-country Oregon Ducks, which he liked for their bright, neon-colored uniforms. The Hurricanes, then, have a proximity advantage. All four predictions on Sanguinetti’s 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions page have him headed to Coral Gables.
He said he’s giving the Gators a chance. He said Mullen and the rest of UF’s staff have been pushing for him to visit campus, and Sanguinetti said he plans on taking them up on the offer. He doesn’t know when yet.
But aside from competing with the hometown Hurricanes, there’s another factor that doesn’t really favor Florida.
Sanguinetti said his two biggest concerns in regard to which school he chooses are academics and the opportunity to play early. Florida’s defensive backfield is saturated with bodies after it added three safeties in the 2018 recruiting class along with five cornerbacks and a safety in 2017. Plus Sanguinetti, who wants to either study business and run his own company or practice law, said the Gators haven’t highlighted academics at all.
“They haven’t really talked to me about academics,” he said. “They’re just telling me they really want me. That I’m a priority for their class.”
And while he liked Florida’s previous coaching staff, he differed from some other recruits who have said they feel a new energy under Mullen.
“There’s really no difference,” he said of the two coaching staffs.