Riders sign former Carolina Panthers’ DB Zack Sanchez

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have added a little depth to their defensive backfield.

The club announced the signing of defensive back Zack Sanchez on Tuesday.

Sanchez joins the Riders after spending time with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. Sanchez was selected by the Panthers in the fifth round in the 2016 NFL draft.

In his rookie season, the 26-year-old played in five games for the Panthers and recorded eight tackles and one pass deflection before seeing his season end due to injury. He was eventually released in 2017.

In 2019, Sanchez was a member of the AAF’s San Antonio Commanders where he intercepted San Diego Steel quarterback Philip Nelson to secure that team’s first-ever win.

The Texas native took home a lot of hardware over three seasons with the Oklahoma Sooners. In a stellar senior season, Sanchez was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, named Second Team All-American by Sporting News, and was selected as Third Team All-American by Phil Steele. He was named All-Big 12 First Team by league’s coaches, AP and Phil Steele, was an All-American honourable mention by Sports Illustrated and was named All-Big 12 Second Team by ESPN.com.

In total, Sanchez started 37 games recording 134 tackles, five tackles for loss, 15 interceptions for 220 yards, three touchdowns, and three punt returns for 22 yards.

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