Moorpark's Man in Middle: Gabe Reininger

There's a little buzz around the Western State Conference, and it's focused on Jim Bittner's Moorpark club. The word around town is that they're 'loaded.' One defensive player who will have a hand in determining the team's success is nose guard, Gabe Reininger. The Las Vegas native from Centennial HS made honorable mention All-WSC as a freshmen last year and D1 scouts are taking notice.

[JC Grid-Wire Plus free preview article] got a look at the amiable Reininger on May 4 at the SoCal Combine, where he performed very well in front of four-year college scouts from around the country.

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 270 (combine measurements)
Forty: 5.1
Shuttle: 4.63
Bench: 17 reps @ 225
Vertical: 22.5"
Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Despite a lack of interest from four-year schools during his days at Centennial, Reininger was determined to continue playing football. His determination led him to a visiting coaches clinic, which is where he found out about Moorpark College in southern California.

He liked what he heard about the school and jumped at the opportunity to move across state lines, where he could continue his education and football career.

Reininger says the adjustment to new surroundings was a snap.

"I liked Moorpark a lot. It was a big jump...especially the pace of the game. My D-line coach at Moorpark helped me a lot, though. He saw the power and motor in me that wouldn't stop," said Reininger.

His energy and athletic abilities helped him earn a starting job and eventually the All-Conference honors. But in talking to Reininger you can tell he's in possession of other favorable attributes, too, such as leadership skills and dedication to the team.

"The thing is, I am willing to do anything for the other ten guys on the football field. It's all about've got to establish that 'family' feeling. I like to try to bring the team together as much as possible and I try to be a leader," said Reininger. He feels that the talent level at Moorpark is high, and if everyone comes together they can do great things.

When asked about team goals, Reininger says that the defense wants to hold their first opponent, in the offensive first series, to three-and-out. Reaching that first goal would be pretty nice considering the first game is against Palomar.

It's no secret that four-year schools regularly comb the JC ranks for quality defensive linemen. Many of those schools have already gotten a line on Reininger, who says he has a stack of letters. He says San Diego State seems serious while Washington State, Washington, and Oregon State have sent mail and questionnaires.

Reininger has been taking summer school classes to help ensure that he can graduate from Moorpark in December.

Reininger is definitely a player to keep an eye on through the 2002 season. He seems to have a rare combination of physical attributes, determination, and leadership skills that four-year schools covet.


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