Gino SanFelice was not the most imposing-looking outside linebacker on a high school football field last fall. But what he lacked in size he made up for with heart.
“Gino plays the game the right way and uses every bit of his talent,” said Woodland Park football coach Joe Roskam about his star player. “He doesn’t care how big or fast you are. He’ll give you everything he’s got.”
On April 2, the 6-foot-2, 160-pound SanFelice signed his name to a scholarship offer from Doane University, an NAIA school in Crete, Neb., during a ceremony in the Woodland Park gymnasium.
“It’s undecided whether I’ll be an inside linebacker or an outside, but basically I’ll be an edge rusher,” SanFelice said.
SanFelice said he’s been told by Doane coaches that they want him to put on weight.
“They didn’t really say how much,” SanFelice said. “When I get there, they know I’ll start putting on weight, and they weren’t too concerned.”
SanFelice first made contact with Doane last semester and maintained a healthy relationship with the coaching staff during the recruiting process. He said he did not sign in February because he was still weighing out his options.
“They wanted me, but they wanted me to make a visit, so I had to plan out my visit,” SanFelice said. “Once I made the visit is when they made me the offer.”
SanFelice was second on the Panthers in total tackles last season with 79, trailing Colton Simonis (89). SanFelice also intercepted a pass that he returned 52 yards for a touchdown, had two fumble recoveries and a quarterback sack.
SanFelice said he is looking forward to the challenge of playing at the next level.
“Everyone’s going to be bigger and be faster,” he said. “I’m going to have to step my game up.
“I think I have what it takes to play, it’s just a matter of how much weight I can put on.”
SanFelice added that signing his national letter of intent was a dream come true.
“This is something I’ve dreamed of since I started playing football at 8 with (Woodland Park) Parks and Rec,” he said.