Rubalcaba, Dennis pick their schools

Tigers QB headed to UNC, running back selects Colorado Mesa

Sean Rubalcaba and Jerreon Dennis, teammates on this fall’s Grand Junction High football team that reached the Class 5A state quarterfinals, have made verbal commitments to play college football.

However, they won’t be playing together.

Rubalcaba has decided to play quarterback at Northern Colorado, where he plans to redshirt his freshman season.

Dennis, who rushed for 2,354 yards this past season, said Tuesday he is staying home to attend Colorado Mesa University. He said he looks forward to a new Mavericks era under head coach Russ Martin.

“I like the new coach they got,” Dennis said. “(Grand Junction) is my new home and I’m ready for it.”

Unlike Dennis, who moved to Grand Junction from Utah, Rubalcaba wanted to explore a new area, so he chose Greeley.

The first day high school seniors can sign with colleges is Feb. 1.

Rubalcaba had 1,220 yards rushing and 1,229 yards passing this past season.

His academic success, strong arm and reported 4.55-second 40-yard dash helped the Denver Post Gold Helmet award winner garner interest from others schools such as Colorado Mesa and Wyoming.

“I wanted to get away from Grand Junction a little bit,” Rubalcaba said. “My sisters are over there playing high school sports as well. So it’s my home away from home.”

Tigers coach Robbie Owens said he was proud of their decisions and added both are Division I quality athletes.

“Being on this side of the mountain and Colorado with the recruiting process we’re in, I think the kids got overlooked a bit,” Owens said.

Owens said Rubalcaba has the size, speed and brains to succeed at the next level, and Dennis, among other attributes, simply hits like no athlete he’s seen in 17 years of coaching.

“He’s the most physical kid I’ve coached, pound for pound,” Owens said. “He has that ability to hit at full speed.”

Dennis said he’s willing to play either of his high school positions, running back or linebacker.

Tigers junior defensive lineman Austin Berk said Tuesday he “probably” is considering Colorado as his top choice.


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