Charlottesville’s Jonas Sanker sets big goals for junior season at UVA

Charlottesville’s Jonas Sanker says he wants to take his game to another level this season.
Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 1:36 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville’s Jonas Sanker says he wants to take his game to another level this season.

The UVA safety is fully healthy after missing Virginia’s spring practice recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Sanker has put on a lot of weight and muscle in preparation for the season, causing coaches to take a second glance.

“I looked at him and I don’t know who this young man is. He is massive with muscle,” Coach Curome Cox said.

Coaches say Sanker is explosive and flying around in practice. The rising junior says he’s learned to trust the coaches.

“My biggest challenge was just having a closed mind,” Sanker said. “Understanding that it’s not always going to make sense, adapting and being humble enough to do it their way.”

Sanker is Virginia’s leading returning tackler. The Charlottesville native racked up 63 last season, starting nine games at safety.

“For him, I’d like to see him take the maturity of not just relying on your talent,” Coach Cox said. “That was his biggest maturation this offseason was just learning and putting himself in better leadership roles.”

Now in his third year with the program, Sanker is ready to take the next step, and has big goals.

“The place where I think I am going to be able to improve the most is just playing fast and making more plays on the ball,” Sanker said. “I want to be an All-ACC Safety. Lead the team in a lot of different things. My ultimate goals are team goals. Winning the ACC and becoming a dominant football team.”

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