ANGLETON — Never having played the center position before, Angleton’s Sergio Cantu excelled in the spot enough to interest some colleges in seeing him at the center of the offensive line.
Texas Lutheran University awarded Cantu a football scholarship to continue his dream of playing college football.
“I just loved the school and the community and when I went on my visit last Monday they had everything that I wanted,” Cantu said. “They have a real good nursing program, and I just saw myself playing there.”
Based in Seguin, Cantu will reunite with his former quarterback, Seth Cosme, who played one play during his freshman year last season.
“I felt comfortable about going there knowing that my old quarterback is there, because I have that connection with him,” Cantu said. “He will have that trust in me and I have that trust in him because we’ve played together before.”
At 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, Cantu played guard and tackle for the Wildcats during his junior season.
“My positional coach (Derek) Stubblefield, he wanted me to play center because we didn’t have anyone at that time to play center,” Cantu said. “But with Angleton playing center is different because our O-linemen doesn’t stay in one spot to block just one guy. We run with the running back and block at the second level and go block safeties or cornerbacks if we have to. So he felt like I would be good there, because I had the ability to do that kind of blocking.”
That change started for Cantu with spring football and continued all the way until the first game of the 2019 season.
“It was tough at first having to learn how to snap, because there are different snaps like a stepping snap, same place snap and a snap transitioning over to sprint and one that transitions over to a kick slide,” he said. “So it took me a while, but luckily I had the whole offseason to get used to it.”
That he did until his first game at Wildcat Stadium against Kingwood Park.
“Under-center snaps were good, but the shotgun snaps were not where I wanted them to be,” Cantu said. “They were a bit to the right or up top, so that took a lot of communication between me and the quarterback. So the second half the snaps were a lot better in that game, right where I wanted them to be in his chest.”
Playing in the American Southwest Conference, Texas Lutheran finished 8-1 in conference and 8-2 overall for the season.
“The coaches from Texas Lutheran liked the way I can get up to the second level and open up gaps easily,” Cantu said. “Our running backs never had a problem with finding a gap. They have two centers but are shorter than me and if I can just work hard in the offseason I could have an advantage of getting some playing time. They also liked that I play hard nose and play to the end of the whistle.”
For Cantu’s preparation took place sometimes daily.
“In our district, the nose tackles that we play are absolutely monsters, so I was working on getting stronger especially with technique,” he said. “Technique was most important because you could be the strongest guy on the team, but if you don’t know technique, you will not win one-on-one.
“I thought it was fun facing that kind of talented tackles, because my dream was to play college football and just being able to play against players that are way stronger it just gave me motivation to continue working harder at this.”
Howard Payne University also had an interest in the Angleton Wildcat.
Cantu will aim at earn a degree in nursing science while playing for the Bulldogs.