Georgia Tech offered a football scholarship to the offensive lineman who has been nicknamed “The Finisher” by college scouts.
It the first offer for Brandon Kublanow, the 6-foot-3, 290-pounder from Walton High School who is an early favorite to be the state’s No. 1 college prospect along the offensive line for 2013. Kublanow is a UGA fan and the Bulldogs could be the next to offer.
“The Finisher” earned his nickname after devastating and dominating blocking skills were caught on tape by Rivals and Scout at last month’s Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome. Kublanow had 13 pancake blocks against Peachtree Ridge, including a couple where he fell on top of the defender as he was making the block and – to the amazement of scouts – stayed on top of the defender and shoved his helmet into the artificial turf, as if to make sure he got the message.
The video quickly went viral in college football’s recruiting circles.
“Yeah, I’ve had a lot of people tell me they saw the video,” Kublanow said with a laugh. “That’s just how I play. That’s how I’ve been taught. That’s how I finish.”
Back to Georgia Tech: Kublanow made an unofficial visit with the Yellow Jackets for Saturday’s win over Kansas and was called into the office to speak with coach Paul Johnson. We’ll let Kublanow tell the rest:
“Coach Johnson was like ‘We really like you, and we’re impressed. We like your aggressiveness and how you finish people with your blocking. We like that you’re a good kid off and on the field, and make good grades. We know it’s going to a while before offers go out for high school juniors, but we want to let you know that you have a scholarship offer from Georgia Tech when the time comes.’
“I was pretty shocked with the offer. I’m really excited about Georgia Tech now. It feels good to finally have my first offer. It feels good, almost like a weight off my shoulder. I’m ready now for more.”
Did Kublanow considering finishing his recruiting and committing on the spot to Georgia Tech? “No, and it really never got to that point because Coach Johnson said he knew it would be a while before everything would really start to happen for me with recruiting, with me being just a junior. The main thing Coach Johnson wanted to do was to make sure I knew I had an offer.”
What about UGA? Kublanow said UGA offensive line coach Will Friend stopped by Walton High School on Friday to express serious interest on behalf of the Bulldogs.
“Coach Friend said he saw my first game on TV from the Georgia Dome, and that he was really impressed,” Kublanow said. “I think Georgia might be the next to offer. I guess the college coaches can’t really do anything when they are on a high school campus. But I will be at Georgia in a couple of weeks when they play Mississippi State, and I think they may offer me then.”
With Kublanow being a Georgia fan, would he commit on the spot if offered by the Bulldogs? “I don’t think I would,” he said. “I think I would want to wait a little longer. But it’s a possibility. I’ve been a Georgia fan for a long time.” After pausing for a few seconds, Kublanow added, “If I was fortunate to get a Georgia offer, I’m definitely going to wait because I want to see what other options are out there.”
Florida, Alabama, Auburn, South Carolina, Clemson, Vanderbilt and Tennessee are among the other schools showing heavy interest. Asked which other schools were on his wishlist for an early offer, he replied, “I’d say Georgia, Alabama and Clemson.”
At Walton, Kublanow has 41 pancake blocks in four games. He carries a 3.08 GPA and a chip on his shoulder after talking to a scout from a recruiting service this past summer.
“This guy told me I would not play Division I football,” Kublanow said. “He said I was too short, and I could probably play Div. I-AA football somewhere. I just got up and walked out of his office.”
Note: Kublanow said he was being recruited by Georgia Tech as an offensive lineman, while UGA has specified that they are interested in him at center. “I’ll play anywhere on the offensive line,” he said. “I’m fine wherever anybody wants to put me in college.”
TODAY’S BIG STORIES
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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