Dorobantu signs with Saginaw Valley State University

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Chris Dorobantu (seated center) was joined by his parents Titus-Liviu Dorobantu and Ioana Dorobantu and assistant football coach (standing, l-r) Todd Thieken and head coach Al Romano for a photo opportunity at Tecumseh High School. Photo by Mickey Alvarado.

Chris Dorobantu became the fourth player under Tecumseh High School football coach Al Romano to join a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) university.

Dorobantu committed this week to attend Saginaw Valley State University in the fall to play football with the Cardinals.

Tecumseh High School head football coach Al Romano will certainly miss Chris Dorobantu as a member of the Indians’ varsity football team as his defensive coordinator, Todd Thieken, may have to use several players to make up for the loss.

“He’s definitely going to be hard to replace. Maybe collectively we’ll replace him with our front four,” Thieken said.

Thieken bounced Chris around as needed on the field.

“We certainly moved him around depending on the situation,” Thieken said. “That shows his versatility too, that he can move from position to position, and we did a lot of things on defense, and for him to be able to pick all that stuff up and play really three different positions shows his work ethic.”

Dorobantu said Saginaw Valley State University was the first big facility he had visited when looking for a college and it immediately made a huge impact on him.

“It really felt like home,” he said. “They have all these awesome new facilities over there and the people were great.”

Other colleges of interest to him were Northern Michigan, Tiffin, Siena Heights, and Concordia, Ann Arbor.

He added that while researching Saginaw Valley State University he found that he could acquire an extremely good education while playing the sport that he loves.

He is considering pre-med, criminal justice or homeland security in terrorism for a major course of study.

“Those are my top three majors right now,’ Dorobantu commented.

As a first year freshman Dorobantu said he would be red shirted so he can get some additional experience at the higher level of play. Saginaw Valley State University is a NCAA Division II facility.

“I will be red shirted first year,” he said. “So I can get some more experience and get bigger, faster and stronger. I should be good to go in two years.”

The Cardinals are looking at using Dorobantu as a defensive tackle, a position that he should be very capable of handling.

“He’s got a great frame,” said Romano. “He’s probably right around 270 right about now and about 6’5”. Once he gets into their program and gets on their nutrition and weight programs and all that stuff that you can do in college, he could be a big factor down the road.

“Chris is a good kid, real genuine,” Romano added. “It hasn’t always been easy for him. He has struggled at times but he keeps working.”

Dorobantu is not a boisterous man and usually carries a smile around with him. As a matter of fact it took some doing to get him comfortable speaking his mind on the field.

“You know, I used to tease him,” said Romano. “ I said, ‘hey, you better get a little tougher and a little meaner or I’m going to move you to offense.’ He’d always say, ‘No coach, I like playing defense.’ And I’d say, ‘well then you’ve got to act like a defensive player.’ And now he is.”

Dorobantu’s parents brought him to America from Romania when he was seven years old. While he doesn’t have any brothers or sisters or any other member of the family here in the U.S., the family keeps in contact by Skyping. He said he was able to visit Romania four years ago and that his relatives are extremely proud of his accomplishments.

Dorobantu was a three-year starter for Tecumseh. His first year he played defensive end and was moved to end and tackle his last two seasons.
He can run the 40 in 4.95 seconds and bench 275-pounds.

There is no telling where his talents will take him if he continues working as hard as he does on a daily basis and he feels he might even have an opportunity to extend his career even further than college.

“I could be a potential coach, maybe,” Dorobantu said. “But, hopefully, in the NFL, you never know.”

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