Truckee lineman now a Mustang |

Truckee lineman now a Mustang

Chuck Smith/Thin Air PhotographyTruckee's Jorge Vasquez, No. 62, puts a shoulder into Spring Creek running back James Edwards during the 3A state semifinal game last season. Vasquez is set to play football in the fall at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Truckee’s 2005 defensive lineman of the year is set to play college football at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Come Aug. 10, Jorge Vasquez will join the nationally ranked Division I-AA Mustangs as an invited walk-on.

Vasquez, a defensive tackle who earned first-team all-state recognition his junior and senior seasons, said he plans to redshirt his freshman year in hopes of earning a scholarship for his remaining four years of eligibility.

At 6 foot and 225 pounds, the Truckee grad realizes what he will be up against trying out at defensive tackle ” a position typically reserved at the college level for gargantuan-bodied players.

“I always played D. tackle at Truckee,” Vasquez said, “but I’m willing to switch because I’m gonna be the little guy out there.”

Vasquez conceded to being a bit nervous about entering the Cal Poly football program as an undersized player at his position.

“Yeah,” he said when asked, “but it’s good. I like the challenge. It will make it a lot more fun to work my way up and try to be the best.”

According to Truckee football coach Bob Shaffer, there’s nothing little about Vasquez’s heart.

“He’s one of those great kids that you’d want your whole team to emulate and follow,” Shaffer said. “I think (Cal Poly) is a great place for him academically and athletically.”

Asked to describe Vasquez as a football player, Shaffer rattled off the words “great work ethic, self-made, overachieving and intelligent.”

And while Vasquez is not among the 300-plus pound variety of linemen, he certainly is no pushover ” or dummy.

“His strength is his strength,” Shaffer said. “That and his intelligence. Watching video, he was able to digest it and see the weaknesses of opponents and utilize that during the game.”

He also demonstrated leadership ability as a Truckee football player, Shaffer said, especially at the beginning of the 2005 season when key defender and one of the team’s leaders John Hooper missed several games due to injury.

“Jorge had to kind of be our leader on the defensive side of the ball,” Shaffer said.

In regards to the strength Shaffer referred to, Vasquez said he works out at a gym every day after work, and has been maxing out on the bench press at 315 to 325 pounds. He also has put on about 20 pounds since the 2005 season by way of “lifting a lot, eating a lot and drinking protein shakes.”

No matter what happens in the future, Vasquez said he’ll miss Truckee football.

“I’m gonna miss it a lot ” all the coaches. They made it a good experience,” he said.

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