GJ quartet officially choose colleges

As Grand Junction High School football coach Robbie Owens, right, watches, four of his former players sign their letters of intent Wednesday. From left to right, Chandon Rose (Colorado Mesa), Jerreon Dennis (Colorado Mesa), Sean Rubalcaba (Northern Colorado) and Danny Wehner (Western State).



Signing Day. The day when high school seniors jot their names and declare where they plan to play sports.

On Wednesday, the first day of the football signing period, four Grand Junction High School football players signed national letters of intent.

Quarterback Sean Rubalcaba (Northern Colorado), center Danny Wehner (Western State) and wide receiver/defensive back Chandon Rose (Colorado Mesa University) all signed official letters.

Jerreon Dennis, meanwhile, had sent Colorado Mesa University his official letter prior to the signing event. He said Mesa wanted it as early as possible, and he wanted to get that task out of the way.

So before family and classmates and media gathered in the gymnasium, he signed something else — a letter of intent he designed with his own pencil. A part read:

I certify that I have read all the terms and conditions included in the document. I’ll game hard and raise my Pokemon very well.

Signed, Jerreon Dennis, prospective gamer/athlete.

The running back and linebacker not only hits hard, he is a video game fanatic.

And he’ll join Rose with the Mavericks.

Rubalcaba said the Bears will play Mesa the second week of the Bears’ season, likely around Sept. 5. Neither school has released its 2012 schedule, but former CMU coach Joe Ramunno had Northern Colorado on the schedule for next season.

Game on.

Rose and Dennis said they’ll ask to play defense against their friend, assuming they all get ample playing time.

“I’ll pick him off and take it to the house,” Rose said.

“I’ll probably hit him as hard as I can,” Dennis said with a smile.

Western State, in the RMAC with Mesa, will pit the Tigers against each other every fall.

No hard feelings, the friends said. It’s just football. These Tigers went 11-1, were ranked No. 1 in the Denver Post poll for much of the season and made it to the Class 5A state quarterfinals.

But aside from Dennis and Rose, they’re splitting up.

“Sean did get offered by Mesa,” Grand Junction coach Robbie Owens said. “The three would have loved to play together. But it’s a huge decision for the next four, five years of your life. You’ll probably find who you’ll marry and what you want to do with your life.”

Rubalcaba, who passed and rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a senior, said he looks forward to playing in the Big Sky Conference in Division I FCS (formerly Division I-AA).

UNC, which finished 0-11 last season, will travel to Utah for its Aug. 30 opener.

Rubalcaba said he might redshirt his first season.

“I’m glad I chose UNC,” Rubalcaba said. “It’s a great school and I wish my other teammates the best of luck.”

Rose and Wehner were the last of the four to sign.

Wehner said he is excited to work with a young coaching staff led by head coach Jas Bains.

“I like their scheme and the way they run their offense,” said Wehner, who likely will redshirt his freshman season. “Their blocking scheme is similar to ours. We also ran a lot of zone blocking schemes.”


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