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Perfect Path For Joel DuBlanko Leading To Big Things

Joel Dublanko and his Father Craig have been following a recruiting plan that they laid out while Joel was an 8th grader and it is paying big dividends!

Perfect Path For Joel DuBlanko Leading To Big Things

Much has been made in recent year about how to go about the task of getting your football prospect a shot at a college offer.  A few years back the process was low tech and done by getting to a college camp or two and playing well and if you got a few breaks you would earn your way.  Enter the Internet and Carny Barkers on every street corner promising big time success and selling dreams.  You can pay money for anyone to say anything about your kid and if you started today you could spend everyday chasing camps and combines and showcases.  This Football thing.. the pursuit of the dream.. it is big business and lately it has all become just way too much noise.

Joel Dublanko is a very hot recruit in the Class of 2016 not only in Washington but far beyond!

Joel Dublanko is a very hot recruit in the Class of 2016 not only in Washington but far beyond!  He is seen here with his Father Craig who has masterfully handled the recruiting path of his son!

There are some good opportunities but which ones should be pursued?

In Aberdeen, Washington a family man was working on this problem trying to find out which way the wind was blowing.  After all he had a massive son, Joel, who was tearing up the youth leagues and being the CEO of a Non-Profit working in the Wind Energy arena knew a little something about how to approach figuring out which way things are headed.

So Craig Dublanko rallied up some football insiders and laid out a path to success for his son.  After careful consideration Craig agreed to allow Joel to play in the East Bay All American Game while he was a 7th and 8th grader.   The big rangy kid did not disappoint as you can see on film right here.  At the end of that process Craig took stock and considered the advise that many football insiders approached him with. They all had questions and thoughts about his 6’2″ monster kid.  What he heard was encouraging.

“It was an eye opener.  Pretty encouraging overall and we walked away from that thinking that maybe Joel could have a shot at playing at a higher level someday,” said Dublanko.

A year later they repeated that process.  Joel was a 6’3″- 215 pound Freshmen who had Varsity experience and he went on to play for the US Team again.  The people around him began to speculate that he could be one of the best in his class.  Although those sources were not as credible as Rivals or the like they were saying he was a Top 50 kid.

One big question remained.  How good could a kid from Aberdeen, Washington really be?  After all that is not a town known for football recruits at all.

Craig re-grouped and the plan they had took a turn.  It was time to end the showcase events and go to the source of decision making; college football camps where Head Coaches make the shot on real performance and not film.  And not just any camps- no sir!

In a move that will define this story at the end Craig and Joel embarked on a trip of epic scale and headed out for the SEC.  No more messing around said Dad.

“Joel passes the eye test.  He walks in and heads turn you know?   So with his freshmen year nearly over we went on a trip which began in Atlanta.  We flew in and rented a car.  From there we headed straight to Athens and did a campus tour and a work out with the Georgia Bulldogs.  That stop was amazing and went well.  Then it was off to Tennessee.  Again he seemed to compete well and was really the only Freshmen at an event like that,” said Craig.  “Next up was Mississippi State and Joel just had a great day in all the drills and everything.    In fact it went so well that the Head Coach Dan Mullen had us come speak to him and after about 30 minutes he let us know he was offering Joel a future scholarship.  It was surreal.  It was all just amazing validation for the things we had been hearing but were not sure about.”

The trip finished at Florida State and again the hard hitting Middle Linebacker left his calling card.  A Freshmen from a tiny Coastal town in Washington going at it with bigger faster stronger upperclassmen and beating them often.  The Seminoles liked him too.  All of those schools liked him and that was 9 months ago.

His Sophomore year at Aberdeen was eye popping.  Watch that here.   Akron, Washington State, and Montana have joined the hunt and offered.  As you can imagine so have dozens of other colleges.  Joel Dublanko is a full on super-recruit at this point and the delivery men and mail carriers have time for lunch as they wait for their turn to leave mail at his home and school.  USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Alabama, Oregon, Texas, Duke and you name it are on this kid.

So what is the road map ahead going to offer to help prepare for a future that still includes 2 full seasons of high school?

“Those East Coast schools are schools we planned to visit.  Joel likes the SEC and he likes that group of schools.  He is a humble kid and values a relationship with people and coaches.  Those four schools back East are all close to him and he likes them all.  So we did that trip and it was amazing.  Joel still loves the SEC schools but now it is time to look out West as well.  Coach Mora (UCLA) loves him and they talk as much as they can.  He had a very string camp at UCLA last Summer.  Basketball has ending so a trip to Stanford for a visit this March is in the works.   Coach Randy Hart there has been great.  And a few schools out West here are going to be on his list,” Craig offered.

Joel has not chased any of these schools and he won’t as it is not his style.  The Path he is on was a part of the plan for now is as follows:

  • A visit to University Of Oregon for camp this Summer – Coach Don Pelham is recruiting him and they are hopeful an offer is in the works.

  • A UCLA Practice in Spring – a chance to shine and get an offer potentially.

  • Arizona is next on the tour where Coach Rod Smith is doing a good job recruiting Joel.

  • WSU-  another Visit and Camp stop are in the works later this Spring / Summer and Coach Yoast and Wilson are recruiting him hard.

At 228 lbs now Joel is going to stay leaner then bulkier.  The colleges have spoken to he and his father about being “pre-bulk” size meaning that they will bulk him up as needed.  Craig says Joel is a legit 6’3″ barefooted and that he has perhaps another inch at tops left.  So a projection of a 6’3.5″ 245 lbs fast moving hitter is about right for college.  Can you say Prototype?

“I love to hit.  It is something I am good at and every down I am looking to make the play,” said Joel who gets many calls but takes limited interviews just because his schedule is so tight.  “I am so blessed and having fun.  This is everything a guy could dream for.”

Craig looks at their process with perspective now.

Joel Dublanko is a Sophomore and is 6'3"- 228 lbs right now.  Sometimes called "Drago" the chiseled Linebacker has 4 offers and is a rising star!

Joel Dublanko is a Sophomore and is 6’3″- 228 lbs right now. Sometimes called “Drago” the chiseled Linebacker has 4 offers and is a rising star!

“He took a chance you know; going on that East Coast swing and putting himself out there like that.  It could have blown up in his face but it did not.  It paid off big time so far and we are going to focus on being in front of Colleges that he would like to play for out West here and sort of repeat that process,” said the proud Father.

Joel Dublanko is going to run Track and compete in the 100, 200, 4 X 100, and maybe throw the Javelin.  Why not?  Staying active in more then 1 sport is sage advice for any kid as college coaches are looking for a full set of skills and do not really want a kid who over-trains in any one sport.

The plan is, according to Joel, to find a the right fit and the right situation and that won’t have as much to do with the name or reputation of the school as it will to do with the people and relationships he can form.  That most important “Fit” we talk about all the time will be the path they will follow as his journey heads to a final destination.

It is so great to see a superb student athlete like Joel Dublanko in a position to represent the Class of 2016 so well and all the kids in our NW Region for that matter.  Together we are all writing quite a legacy.  Best of luck to Joel and his family in all their pursuits ahead!

I am the Founder of the Northwest Prep Report. For 17 years I have led the way to the best of my ability to promote the best talent from the Pacific NW free of charge. It is my pleasure to continue to serve High School athletes from all over the Pacific NW and beyond. Formerly with my sites have now crossed over 8,000 stories, 7 MILLION Video Views, and 15,000 regular followers. Together with the best football people in the USA we pursue excellence for our NW athletes.

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