Part II: Walter Dublin in his own words

Quietly one of the best defense ends in the nation has been holding around 30 offers from schools like Nebraska, Iowa, West Virginia, Ohio State and Alabama. Walter Dublin is looking at the challenge of being a senior leader for the defense this year at Sarasota (Flor.) as he researches possible colleges and sorts his leader board that might adjust weekly.

Walter Dublin hasn't slowed down since last season. The idea was to take the time spent from when football ended last summer to become a better, bigger player. The standout from Sarasota (Flor.) High School did just that.

"It went very well actually," Dublin said. "Basically I just wanted to improve myself as a player. Get a little stronger a little faster. Bring me above that level I played at last year and accomplish some things that I didn't last year."

When it came to what he wanted to really focus on this summer it was simple, strength. That strength helped him bulk up in size too with him now being roughly 20 pounds heavier then when he was on the field last year.

"My strength. Speed-wise, I am pretty quick right now. I could be faster, but strength was my main focus of the summer. I got a lot bigger this summer. Last year I was about 207 pounds to 210. Now I am up to 227. I lost a little weight since the summer because of the heat during our conditioning program. I put on a decent amount of weight."

Players sometime need camps to jump-start their recruiting. For Dublin though the word got around pretty quickly to colleges about him. While he may not have needed the exposure he didn't attend any summer camps this summer not because he didn't want to.

"I couldn't get to any. I had transportation problems. A lot of the camps I would have try to have got to I couldn't. There was no way with my mom working. I wanted to get to a couple, but I just couldn't make it."

Despite not taking in any camps Dublin is hovering at about 30 total offers so far. The task at hand now really deals with how do you take a list of so many and narrow it to so few? What are the criteria to help in that process?

"Right now I am close to 30 offers. Me and my coach sat down the other day to start talking about narrowing things down. It's really a bunch of research of talking to some of the coaches. Information right now is my biggest thing. Information about the school and the program, the tradition, the coaching experience, and the switching of coaches. A lot of factors play into it."

While Dublin had his fair share of coaches and colleges calling during the evaluation period it is a pretty good indicator for someone to gauge the interest of a player in a school by the contact that the player makes with a coach/school.

"I've stayed in contact with a few. I'd say with Nebraska and Ohio State I have had the most contact. I have been trying to stay in contact with West Virginia, Louisville and Clemson. Those are the ones I have been in with, really. I get the letters and stuff every day, but as far as personal contact and conversation those are them."

You won't see any Florida schools on his list. It's nothing against any Florida school either, but Dublin sees the offer to play college football as being more than just that opportunity to further his playing career.

"Florida has been showing a lot of interest in me. I am really trying to get out of the state of Florida. It's not really anything personal or anything. I just want to get out and explore. I was born up north, so the cold weather won't bother me. I was born in New Jersey."

One thing that Dublin might be looking to do, when it comes to making his college choice, is to find a place where football is king. He is also looking to make the move to a smaller town in population.

"Yeah, that is the thing. Being in Florida football is an important thing, but there are so many other things going on. I am not a metropolitan guy, I am a small town guy. Lincoln, Nebr. and Ohio have a lot of small towns, personal relationships, close communities. That's important. That is what I am looking for."

When it comes to Dublin's relationship with Nebraska it starts with his recruiting coach. He has taken the time to stay in contact with the coach at Nebraska this summer and for good reason.

"I have been talking with Coach Phil Elmassian. He's a really cool guy and fun to talk to. He's always happy. Just talking to him he's really cool and down to Earth. I can relate to him. Around the time Nebraska went to the College World Series he called me and he was just the happiest man ever. It was great. Everytime I talk to him it just brightens my day. He's just one of those guys that are good people."

Coach Elmassian has eluded to some of the things that Walter could find at Nebraska on his official visit. However, in his research he has found at least one thing that has thrown up a red flag in his mind when it comes to considering Nebraska.

"The fans. He said up there it's crazy. From the NCAA record of consecutive sellouts and the crazy fans, the tradition and there are a lot of other things that are just attracting me to the school. The one big thing that is not so appealing to me is their number of defensive ends on their roster. I love the place, but if there are eight or nine guys on the roster at defensive end it's not really giving me a lot of opportunity. Coach E. was telling me I would see early playing time as a rush end."

Beyond the team and program at the school that Dublin is looking at comes the academics. As of right now Dublin is considering journalism as a possible major in college, but admits that could change. Ironically Nebraska has an advantage in this area as of right now.

"I am looking at journalism as a major. I love writing. Maybe sports journalism or any form of journalism where I can just sit down and write would be good for me. It's not a definite, but it's really something that I am looking into. I am a poetry buff. I write a lot. I read up at this guy at Nebraska who is a poet laureate at Nebraska. He is world-renowned. Majors change though."

Sarasota is going through a bit of back-filling some huge personnel losses on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense. While they did have the top rusher in the state last year, Walter says that it was on the defense more than once to win or secure a win for his team.

"If you think about it, it wasn't truly all offense. A lot of the times the offense ran into some strangleholds and we had to pull them through. For example, when we played against Booker High School down the way from us, the offense couldn't establish a rushing game or passing game. About halftime we knew that we had to step up for them. It really came down to us. We forced two turnovers for touchdowns and blocked a field goal attempt at the end of the game to seal the win."

"It happened a lot. We have always been a defensively strong team. Just having the running back and the quarterback helps. We lost a lot of good players last year, like Mike Ford, our offensive line and our receivers, but they weren't the whole team. You play as a unit. The offense can't win a game them themselves."

Don't look for Dublin to be making a decision anytime soon. He is going through the process with best intentions and doing as much studying on a college as he does for the up-coming weekly opponent. He has a couple of official visit destinations in mind, but beyond that it is very open.

"It will be a signing day decision. As far as the other visits that I want to officially visit beyond Nebraska and Ohio State it's sort of jumping around. It really comes down to my research. The list changes, every week pretty much. Another school I am looking at is Minnesota."

The accolades for Dublin for his senior year have already started. He has been invited to one post-season All-Star game and is hoping for at least two other nominations. "I just got invited to the Max Emfinger All-Star game. I am looking to get invited to the Cali-Florida Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American Game."

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