Diamond In The Rough: Billy Sanford

Billy Sanford is a class of 2022 athlete for Lewisville High School in Lewisville, Texas. Sanford primarily plays on the defensive side of the ball in the linebacker and safety positions.  He has the ideal build for this linebacker/defensive back hybrid at 6’1 185 lbs. His raw physicality and ball skills allows him to make plays all over the field. Sanford can either make the hard hit, causing fumbles or pick the quarterback off and take it to the crib.  Billy isn’t just a physical specimen though; he also has a great understanding of the game. His vision helps him recognize the play and adjust accordingly. Billy may be a star on the field, but he is also one in the classroom with a 3.0 GPA. With all of his talent and knowledge of the game, Billy Sanford is a player to look out for in his senior season.

Why did you choose to play football and when did you start? I chose to play football because my whole family played it. I started playing flag football at the age of 3.

What life skills has football taught you over time? Football taught me how to be disciplined, how to deal with adversity, and what it takes to be a handworker.

I see you come off the edge a lot, what’s your favorite blitz to run? Why? My favorite blitz to run is just any blitz off the edge because I’m always going to be faster than the tackle.

Do you like to be more of a zone defense or a man to man? I like to be in a man to man.

Would you rather press up on the receiver or play off? Why? I rather press up and get my hands up on him because I bring the physicality of a linebacker to the defensive back position.

What current or past player, do you think your game mirrors the most?  My game mirrors Derwin James and Jamal Adams.

What do you look for as soon as the ball is snapped? First, I look for my run keys and then I look for any pass drop.

What are some advantages of having a safety build playing linebacker?  Some advantages I have is that I have more speed and physicality that makes me a swiss army knife in the defense.

Does your jersey number hold any significance to you? My jersey number doesn’t really have much significance to me.

Do you play any sports outside of football? If so, how have they helped you become a better player? I ran track last year, it helped me with my acceleration and my get off on the line of scrimmage.

Outside of sports, do you have any hobbies you like to do? I like to play video games a lot and listening to music in my free time.

What your favorite pre-game song to listen to? My favorite pre-game song to listen to is Back in Blood by Poo Shiesty.

In your opinion, what is the best aspect of your game? The best aspect of my game is just how physical I am.

How do you think Covid-19 impacted your junior season? At first, we had to go quarantine, there was no spring ball, so I ended up losing a lot of weight. I eventually had to gain it back during the regular season.

At the end of the day, who is someone you look up to? I look up to my mom.

Describe a time where you were going through adversity, how did you get through it? In my freshman year, I didn’t pass the eye test playing linebacker. Everyone was doubting my size so every time I touch the field, I try to prove them all wrong.

Finally, what are colleges going to get out of you? Colleges are going to get a motivator, handworker, a leader, and someone who can handle adversity.