From highlight dunks to touchdown passes, former Murray State forward Brion Sanchious has made a smooth transition to football from basketball.
Sanchious played his first four years in the post for the Racers basketball team. He is now a wide receiver and tight end for the football team.
The Pompano Beach, Florida, native has one year left of collegiate eligibility. He was given this extra year after he tore his ACL on Jan. 15, 2016, during a game against Belmont and became redshirted for medical reasons.
While he is new to the Racer football team, the sport itself is nothing new
“The transition’s been great,” Sanchious said. “I played football in high school so I’ve always had a feel for the game but now as a receiver and tight end, I’m just trying to get to know more stuff in my position. I’m not mad about the limited plays I get but I just go in and show them all that I can do.”
Assistant Coach Alex Suber worked with Sanchious for most of the spring practices and has liked what he’s seen.
“He’s a Florida guy with football experience from high school,” Suber said. “It’s not like he is just a basketball guy coming out here and
just having some fun. He understands football, he has a good grasp on the game, he’s got ball skills and he can run.“
Head Coach Mitch Stewart has incorporated Sanchious slowly into the flow of Racer football and is pleased with his efforts thus far.
Stewart’s only complaint about Sanchious came after the Aug. 29 victory over Pikeville when he received an unsportsmanlike conduct call after catching a nine-yard pass for a touchdown.
“I told Brion, ‘I know it’s your first touchdown catch and that’s a big moment,’” Stewart said. “‘But if you’re gonna go dunk on a field goal if you’re six foot seven, you at least better make it over the bar.’”
Sanchious admits that he shouldn’t have done anything that would penalize the team but he insists that he wanted to hit the goalpost.
“I actually meant to hit the goalpost,” Sanchious said. “There were people behind the goalpost so I didn’t want to throw it over and hit one of them. I knew the ref was going to call a flag so I was like ‘I’m going to act like I’m not trying to touch it and just throw it against the goalpost,’ but you know, I still got a flag.”
High school gave Sanchious the fundamentals of football. Stewart believes that his 6-foot-7-inch, 245-pound frame will create a problem for anyone who faces him.
“He presents some matchup problems,” Stewart said. “We’re going to try to expose that the best we can in those situations. We’re going to continue to look at ways to do that with him and get him more involved.”
Sanchious gained nine yards for a touchdown on one catch during the Aug. 29 win over the University of Pikeville and seven yards on two catches on the Sept. 7 loss against the FBS No. 3-ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs.