Blake produces unexpected outlet for Josh Vizcaino

Rising junior Josh Vizcaino’s path to Blake High School was similar to most. He was artistic growing up and enrolled at Blake to play trombone in the band. He had only played one season of Little League football, but it wasn’t because he didn’t want to.

“I played when I was eight, but after that I got too big,” Vizcaino said. “When I was 10 they wanted me to play with the 15 year olds and my mom wouldn’t let me.”

He decided to try out for the football team the summer prior to his enrollment at Blake after talking with his brother, Chris Vizcaino, a recent graduate of Lennard High School.

“I basically decided I wanted to play because I was really big and my brother encouraged me to,” Vizcaino says it wasn’t as easy as he initially thought.

“I was an out of shape pudge ball,” he explained. “Once I got in shape I loved it.”

It was a culture shock at first for Vizcaino who is the only white player on the Yellowjackets roster. He didn’t know if he would fit in. He didn’t know if he would be accepted. But after he put in the work and showed he wanted to be a part of the family, he gained the trust and support of his teammates

Now, an athletic 6-foot 3-inch 300 pounder Vizcaino is excited for what lies ahead, especially at E7.

“I’m looking forward to getting some competition. There’s some really good players at Blake, but sometimes its not the best place to get challenged so this will be a really good opportunity to help myself get better.”

Vizcaino resides in Plant City. His residency, as well as his size led to his nickname.

“Part of it is because I’m the only white guy on the team and I’m big,” Josh “Big Country” Vizcaino said of his nickname. “Ever since I’ve been at Blake I lived in Plant City so everyone thinks I’m country.”

Although he loves football – Vizcaino admittedly grew up a baseball player. The fleet-footed first baseman says although the two positions are completely different his play at first base growing up helped him to succeed on the offensive line.

“It’s different, but there is a lot of footwork in baseball so the foot work at offensive line and first base transfers over,” Vizcaino said.

One of the most intriguing aspects of his game is that the 300-pounder isn’t just a big body. He can move.

“I stretch every day, but the biggest thing that helped me with my flexibility is that I went to a magnet elementary school,” he explained. “I took dance in fourth and fifth grade. Ballet and tap dancing gave me that flexibility – not too many people know that.”

Big Country’s football IQ shines through, but he also excels in the classroom. He carries a 4.6 weighted GPA and has drawn interest from the likes of Yale, in addition to USF, Auburn and LSU.

“You can’t play football forever. You could be one day away from signing to play college football and bust your knee and never play again,” he said. “My mom stays on top of my grades. I’m taking AP Calculus next year and plan on majoring in math in college.”

The E7 camp is just one stop for Vizcaino. He has already attended two NIKE camps and plans to camp at LSU, Miami, Auburn and attend the Army American junior camp.

“Our goal is to always get stronger, faster and gain more endurance,” Vizcaino said about the upcoming offseason. “Chamberlain gassed us running that no huddle offense. Most of us go both ways so we really need to work on endurance.”