In building any recruiting class, it is always a good idea to try and accrue a quarterback commitment as early as possible in the process. Jared Goff was the centerpiece of the class last year, Zach Kline the year before. Although Luke Rubenzer does not have the same level hype as those two guys (yet), he is a promising recruit who is primed to make a lot of waves his senior season. Like Goff, he was invited to the prestigious Elite 11 QB camp.
Don't believe me?
Check out the Cal style script on his workout shirt. Talk about ironic. That being said, I think this kid is about to blow up after this summer is over. Part of that is due to him being on this show, which almost automatically gives any QB participant a great ESPN ranking, generally within the top 300 overall. ESPN wants the guys who make this show (something they sponsor) to be the guys that schools are going after, and those rankings, surprisingly, have a lot of influence on coaches who may not know that much about a recruit yet.
The story of the recruitment:
Over the last year or so it appears that Luke has received a significant amount of attention from a good number of programs. No powerhouses have offered, but his offer list is respectable. Looking at ESPN, what makes me really happy is the fact that he has a ton of Ivy League action going on; I think Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia are all on there. Grades: Check. Apparently his GPA sits at 4.3, so he could maybe even get into the school without football. That might be the most important part of this commitment.
Apparently, Coach Franklin has had his eye on Luke for sometime, potentially even from his time at LA Tech. It was apparently Franklin who got Luke out to Berkeley this weekend to attend the first ever annual Sonny Dykes Football Camp (same thing as Cal camp from year's past). Once Dykes saw Rubenzer play in person, it was a done deal, and the offer was made.
"Franklin, who was the OC at Louisiana Tech, where the Bulldogs led the nation in scoring offense last season (51.50 points a game), liked Rubenzer since seeing his film. But he needed to get him out to Cal’s camp, in front of head coach Sonny Dykes. That came over the weekend during a camp at Berkeley."
The fact that coach Franklin is so high on him makes me very happy about this pickup. If anyone knows quarterback talent, it's that guy.
"If we sat down and went over 100 schools, I don’t think Luke would have found a better school for him," said Saguaro coach Jason Mohns, who pointed out that Rubenzer has a better than 4.3 grade-point average.
Based on Luke's experience with a spread option offense, it appears that Franklin clearly believes he'll be well tuned to transition into the complexities of the New Bear Raid. However, as if the situation couldn't get any better, Rubenzer's head coach recently went to one of Rick Stewart's offensive camps (one of the leading mentors in terms of the Pistol, Wing T offense), and has stated that he is going to shape his offense next year to be like Cal's.
"Our head coach came up this winter to Coach Stewart's offensive clinic and we're going to be running Cal's offense this year," said Rubenzer. "Going over it in spring ball and this summer, I love this offense. It's fun to run. It requires some mental skill to master but once you get it, it's easy to run. I don't know how anyone's going to stop us this year. We want another state championship. -Bear Insider
So in essence, Luke will be getting experience in the Cal offense while still in high school.
The actual tape:
Rubenzer won't shock you with his size. He's only around 6', 180 lbs, and ESPN has him running at around a 4.75 40. Despite this, Luke's numbers from this past season are absolutely insane. He threw for 2,834 and 36 TDS, while running for an additional 1,184, averaging almost 9 yards per carry, and an extra 10 TDs on the ground. All in all, he generated around 4,000 yards of offense with almost 50 TDs. Those are like, Terrell Pryor high school numbers! Not to mention he had 170+ rushing game in a game that they lost... That's unheard of for a quarterback. He also had almost a 70% completion rating.
I know that there have been QBs out there who have had similar numbers which haven't translated to the college game. But as a former high school player/ stat junkie, please take a moment to appreciate that awesomeness. All of this just makes me that much more happy that we offered him now, because other schools are gonna come knocking. Looks like UCLA and Oregon might already be honing in on him, so I'm glad we locked him up early into the summer recruiting season.
Here's the actual tape.
The first thing that pops out on the film is how dynamic this kid is. Like really freakin' dynamic. Nice top end speed, great elusiveness, and he's fearless of contact, something you don't see in many quarterbacks. First play of the tape you see him leaping over a defender for the score.
Skip ahead to the minute 00:57 mark. Standard zone read with a fly sweep implementation. Luke literally runs THROUGH a collapsing D-End and outside linebacker. I don't know if Franklin will want to run him as much as he did in high school, but even so, a mobile quarterback who can take a hit is always a great thing to have.
Skip ahead to 1:13. Hard to see what the route tree is because of the camera angle. But watch Luke's eyes and head swivel. Up until the point that he throws it, he's never looking at the receiver that he wants. That's a great lookoff, and it clearly worked because there's no safety help when he releases it deep over the middle.
Again 1:35. Luke hits the whole like a running back. Beautiful thing to see.
At 3:57, the throw that he makes is a real college level throw, and is something that probably got Tony Franklin really excited about this kid. Looks like a 5 receiver set. The middle left receiver runs a seem route, and has the safety on top of him the entire time. Luke's gotta thread this thing in there to get the ball to the receiver before the safety can make a play on it. He puts it on a laser, allowing the receiver to make a move on the safety and gain some extra yards. Window throws of that nature are a major component of any passing attack, but are especially important in Air Raid offenses where timing and look-offs are such a vital part of the offense. What's more, this tape is riddled with tight window throws like this.
All in all, I'm extremely, extremely impressed. This is one of the better high school tapes I've seen, and Luke has the stats to back it up. It wasn't like he was doing this against a couple of bad teams. This was a season's worth of plays against a lot of good Arizona competition. Look for Luke's stock to rise exponentially as we advance through the summer and into next season. Especially with him being on Elite 11. Sounds like he's really excited about being a Bear, and it looks like the school truly is a really good fit for him, so I'm not worried (yet) about other schools try to convince him away from us.