Wescott Eberts (WB): Wescott Eberts, SBNation Recruiting, out here at The Opening with Luke Rubenzer. Luke, what's your experience been like this week at Elite 11 and now The Opening?
Luke Rubenzer (LR): It's been a great experience. There's really no other place like it in the world where you can get all the best players, all the best coaching. Just the total experience in all--all the activities we've been doing, all the experiences we've had--it's just something you really can't get anywhere else. Just stop and enjoy every minute of it.
WB: The final rankings haven't come out, but in a couple of the early rankings, you're in the top 11; how does that feel?
LR: It feels great! I mean, just being invited, like the coaches say, you can't just be happy to be here. Once you come in here, you have to compete and play to the best of your ability. If you're just gonna be happy to be here, you're not gonna get in the top 11. So all week I've been battling, my shoulder's been bothering me a lot; you just have to keep battling and grinding through it and keep working hard.
WB: Does that surprise you at all? A lot of top quarterbacks out here with a lot of major offers. Cal is your big offer; what kind of expectations did you have for yourself coming out here?
LR: I definitely know I could compete with anybody out here. They're all great players--they all do great things on the field--but I just have confidence in myself that I can hang with whomever. I chose Cal not only because they were my only big offer, but because it's the only place I wanted to go. It's still the only place I want to go regardless of national attention from other schools. But, like I said, I've known I can compete with anybody; it's just a matter of getting out here and showing it.
WB: What's the biggest tip that you've taken away from Trent Dilfer and the other coaches in terms of maybe your mechanics or just how you approach the game mentally?
LR: One big thing that we stress, as well as the coaches, is just the mental part of the game. We did a scale [from] 1 to 10; you want to be in the 4, 5, or 6 range regardless of situation. You gotta stay calm and have poise without getting overhyped or being too calm, say 1 to 3. So, that's definitely one thing I'm gonna work on in my game and try to improve a lot.
WB: Where do you feel you rank consistently on that scale right now?
LR: I feel like, myself, I get a little overhyped. I've noticed that throughout my game these past years. It usually takes me the first drive or two just to settle down [and] calm down. I feel like I'm a little above that 6 range where you want to be, so I'm definitely going to try to tone it down this year and be poised and be calm.
WB: Cal ran a pro-style offense under [their] old coach, Jeff Tedford; now they've brought in Sonny Dykes running an air raid offense. How do you feel you fit in that and how much did that impact your decision?
LR: I feel like I fit in great. We're running the same stuff at my high school now and my high school coach has been telling me that. They told me Cal was the place to be; I looked them up, I did my research, and I totally agree with them. I think I'll fit in great in their offense and hopefully they'll give me a shot so I can succeed.
WB: You're a kid who does well academically; how much did the academics of Berkeley impact your decision and what do you plan on majoring in when you get there?
LR: It definitely impacted me a lot. Like I tell everybody, you can't get superior academics or superior athletics at any other place. Having that at Cal definitely made Berkeley really appealing to me and that was definitely one thing I looked at when I chose Cal. As far as major goes, I'm not sure yet; maybe business or pre-med or something, but I really don't know yet.
WB: Any new uniforms on the horizon for Cal?
LR: I haven't heard of any. I've seen a couple pictures of some that are coming out this year, but I really don't know of any.
WB: How do you feel about that whole uniform craze taking over college football?
LR: It's great. I don't think people should get too excited because football is playing football--whatever you wear, whatever you have, it isn't going to make you a better player. I feel like in this day and age, the swag that people have really comes with playing well and really having that confidence you need to succeed at a high level.
WB: Any other players out here who you're recruiting? Or any other guys you're talking to consistently, trying to get them to join you out there in Berkeley?
LR: Jaleel Wadood--he just committed yesterday. I haven't really gotten the chance to watch him play a lot
WB: You count that as a recruiting success already, huh?
LR: Yeah, he's a great player. He actually told me the day he got here that he was gonna commit yesterday. I've talked to a few other guys who are considering Cal and hopefully we can get them over there.
WB: Any names you wanna throw out for guys you're recruiting?
LR: None in particular; none who have given me a really strong "I'll really look at it." But I've thrown it out and they've watched me play, telling me they wanna go wherever I go so they can get the ball. I'll definitely keep in touch with them, even after The Opening, and try to get them over there.
WB: As you learn to adapt to the college game, what do you feel is gonna be the biggest thing you need to adapt to?
LR: Just the speed. It kinda comes with making the jump from JV your freshman [year] up to varsity in high school football. It's just the speed of the game; you really gotta pick up to it and make the reads quick. You don't have as much time with those beast D-linemen you got nowadays. Definitely the speed I'm gonna have to react to and, like I said, the reads; I have to make the reads quicker and be a lot more decisive on
WB: All right, Luke Rubenzer out here at The Opening.
Our thanks to Wescott Eberts and SBNation Recruiting for giving us the opportunity to send in some questions and to Luke Rubenzer for taking the time to answer them so thoughtfully. Fans, what do you think about Rubenzer's thoughts? How excited are you to get him on campus and trotting out in the beautiful blue and gold at Memorial Stadium?