Jack Sanborn played through the pain of a labrum tear in his left shoulder during his senior season at Lake Zurich (Ill.) High School. He performed so well that he earned first-team all-state honors and led his team to the state championship game.
Sanborn’s blue-collar toughness makes him a perfect fit at Wisconsin, where the 4-star inside linebacker signed in the 2018 class. You can read more about the leadership lessons Sanborn learned from football and family in our profile of him.
Before he arrives on campus this summer, Sanborn shared the biggest rumor about him and more as he recapped his recruitment with Land of 10. Here is his recruiting rewind:
Q: If you could give a junior only one piece of advice about the recruiting process, what would it be?
Sanborn: I would say not really specific to the recruiting process, but just be confident in yourself. Go where you want to go and don’t really listen to what everybody else says around you. There are going to be people that want you to go somewhere else, so ultimately it’s your decision.
Q: What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
Sanborn: Iowa was the second school to offer me. I’d say the one thing — I wouldn’t really say it’s in their control — but maybe not have half of the Lake Zurich High School senior class go to Iowa. It seems like everyone from my high school goes there. So it’s probably not in their control, but that would’ve maybe helped out.
Q: Did you want to forge your own path?
Sanborn: Yeah. I feel like college is a time where you go meet new people.
Q: What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
Sanborn: I don’t really know if you would say it’s super creative. But probably Duke bringing me to watch the Duke-North Carolina basketball game and go on the court to take a picture. Since I’m a big Grayson Allen fan, that was pretty awesome for me.
Q: What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
Sanborn: That I have a tattoo on my right arm. It seemed like almost every school would ask me where my tattoo was when they would see that I didn’t have one. It all started because our team for the playoffs gets fake tattoos and puts them on our arms or our necks. It’s a tradition that we’ve had for like more than a decade. In one of the newspaper articles, there’s a picture of me running with the ball with a barbed wire tattoo on my right arm. Every school was wondering where the tattoo was. It seemed like they were a little upset when they found out there was no tattoo.
Q: Did you have to get a new tattoo each game?
Sanborn: Yeah, I got a new one each game.
Q: Did you get the same kind of tattoo for every game?
Sanborn: Some people are superstitious and want the same tattoo for each game. I would just take the leftovers and just say, ‘Put it on.’
Q: Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting?
Sanborn: I’d say Illinois, that they didn’t offer me. Just that I was in their state.
Q: Did they ever reach out to you?
Sanborn: They reached out. I would see them here and there.
Q: Which head coach of a team that you did not sign with was the nicest?
Sanborn: There were a lot of nice ones. There were some that I think were a little upset. But I would probably say Coach [David] Cutcliffe of Duke. He’s such a class act dude. He’s a really nice guy to talk to. I just have a ton of respect for him. He was easy to talk to about explaining to him my decision. He wished me the best, so probably him.
Q: How many coaches did you call?
Sanborn: Originally, I sent out a text to each one because I didn’t want to call. But some coaches were just like, ‘Hey can you call me?’ So then I did that.