On Saturday, Nebraska hosted its first Junior Day. While it was mostly aimed at 2020 recruits, there were some key 2021 and even 2022 targets were in Lincoln for the event. One of those priority 2021 targets was defensive tackle Gabriel Rubio (6-5, 275) from Lutheran High School in Saint Peters, Missouri, which is just outside of St. Louis.
I had an excellent time at @HuskerFBNation Junior Day! Thank you @coach_frost @mike @CoachChinander @coachwilhite @NEB_Recruiting for having me! #GBR #Blackshirts pic.twitter.com/sZ132XHEcI
— Gabriel Rubio (@GabeRubio68) February 2, 2019
I caught up with Rubio on Saturday night and he had plenty of interesting things to say about his time in Lincoln and how this trip compared to the first time he visited back in November for the Illinois game. After the win over the Illini, he told Hail Varsity that he had an “astonishing” trip to Lincoln.
Rubio, who already holds offers from Nebraska, Iowa, Ohio State and others, will likely be a key recruit moving forward.
Here is the full Q&A with Rubio:
What did you think of the Junior Day experience overall?
“Overall, the best part about my day was getting to sit down and watch film with Coach [Mike] Dawson. I got to see what kind of formations he runs and how he likes to play things out in the game schemes. Plus, how he likes to train and how he likes to be hands on with the players and everything.”
How would you describe your relationship with Dawson?
“Coach Dawson and I still need to build up that relationship but I can tell that we both like each other. He would love to see me come back up to Nebraska for spring ball and all that.”
Are you planning to come back up for a practice or the spring game?
“Yes. They said that they want to have me back up for a spring ball practice.”
What else did you get to do while you were on campus?
“We got to tour the entire facility, the new facility that they built. We got to tour around the stadium and campus which was really cool. I thought it was pretty cool seeing what they added and what was new.”
Was there anything new that you go to see that you didn’t see when you came to Lincoln for the Illinois game?
“Yeah, there was actually a set of escalators that led up all the way to this special box where we had lunch at. I didn’t get to see any of that when we first visited. I thought that was really nice to have lunch up and overlooking the field. It was really cool.”
Did you get to meet at all with Coach Scott Frost?
“Yeah. Besides having the meeting, I got to talk to him a couple times throughout the day. First, when we got there we went to the player lounge and I tried to find him then. I got to talk to him then and I introduced him to my teammates and coaches who came up on the trip as well. After that, we talked mainly football for the being. Then at the end when we were getting pictures taken with jerseys on and everything, we went back and said our final goodbyes. He was saying that he wanted us all to come back up.”
What is it like to get to go on a trip like this with four of your other teammates?
“It’s mostly a great bonding thing to do. Getting all the guys up, not only do you get publicity for your team but you also get to represent your school with your teammates showing that you aren’t the only good player there. You want to push forward the other guys so they get eyes on them too. That’s one of the main things I like to do whenever we go somewhere together.”
Do you have any other visits planned for this winter or coming up in the spring?
“Yes. On the 16th, I believe, we are going to Iowa. We will be at Ohio State sometime too.”
Do you have a decision timeline in mind at this point?
“No, I’m just checking things out and looking at what’s near me and available. I want to make sure I have the specific requirements for my school. A family environment, if the coaches will stay, if the coaches want and need me and if I’ll play my first year which I really want to do.
Greg is the Recruiting Analyst for Hail Varsity and has covered Husker athletics since 2013. He has always had a passion for sports while growing up in the Chicago area. As he got older and had to hang up his cleats and sneakers, he realized his passion for sports went beyond just watching and attending games. He has covered many events from the Rose Bowl to championship boxing matches. If he’s not talking sports, he’s hovering over his grill. He is married to an amazing woman, Kim, and they have a dog that barks when Greg yells at the TV during games.