Aberdeen (Wash.) linebacker Joel Dublanko (6-3, 250), visited a trio of Pac-12 schools in the past week.
“Arizona State totally wowed him, the UCLA visit went very, very well and he loved USC,” said his father Craig Dublanko.
Dublanko started out visiting Arizona State.
“The ASU visit was really good as we found that the culture there is exactly what he is looking for in terms of core values with the coaching staff,” said Craig Dublanko. “We were both surprised at how well he fit in there and they seem to really like him as well. They have a position they call the devil backer and they see him as a perfect fit in that role for them.”
Then came visits to the two Los Angeles schools.
“At UCLA, they said basically the same thing and were very impressed with his size,” said his father. “Joel and Jim Mora are good friends. He spent significant time with Coach (Angus) McClure and they hit it off big time.”
He rounded it out with a stop at USC.
“Coach (Peter) Sirmon said he is looking for big linebackers and with Joel's physical development he has put himself back on their radar and then Coach (Justin) Wilcox said he will be at a track meet this spring to watch Joel run. Joel loves USC but of the three they seem like the least likely to offer, however an offer wouldn't surprise me due to their increased level of interest.”
A four-star middle linebacker, Dublanko could end up playing defensive end in college.
“He’s 6-3, 250, but carrying it well,” said his father. “Arizona State and UCLA have significant interest in him at the buck linebacker position. He prefers to have his hand up so he may be in a stand up position that sets the edge and lots of schools use that as the buck. In a 4-3, schools still see him as an old school mike, and although there aren’t as may of those around anymore, he is still that guy for them.”
Dublanko is talking regularly with a number of schools.
“Schools he talks to are LSU, Florida (where he recently visited), Stanford, UCLA, Arizona State, Washington, Oregon State and USC and then the schools that have offered (Mississippi State and Washington State most notably),” said his father.
This weekend, Dublanko will be playing for Team Washington in the Pylon Elite 7v7 in Las Vegas.