April 27, 2012

Kublanow honored to play

Walton offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow is no stranger to success despite his age.

The 17-year-old has already been named as one of the top 250 prospects in the country by Rivals.com, he is a four star prospect, and had the opportunity to play for the Georgia High School AAAAA state championship in 2011.

Being named as a U.S. Army All American, however, is a completely different honor for the Peach State standout.

"Coach (Rocky) Hidalgo called me up and said that I had been invited to the game, and it's a huge honor," said Kublanow. "I respect what the military does and everything. I accepted it on the spot. I knew it was what I wanted to do a long time ago. It is pretty crazy because I've been watching it since I was like six years old, and knowing now that I will be playing in it is insane."

One thing that has grown increasingly popular, as the high school all-star games have garnered more attention is prospects deciding to commit at the games and on national television.

At this point, Kublanow knows he won't be waiting that long.

"No, I will probably be winding it down here pretty soon," he said. "I'm probably going to make my decision right after spring ball. Right now it is looking like May 21, but I still have to talk to coach and my parents and stuff."

The Marietta native lined up at guard last season for Walton and will play likely play left tackle for the Raiders in 2012, but like many of the schools that are recruiting him, the U.S. Army All American committed wants him to make the move to center for their game.

"They want me at center," said Kublanow. "I've played it before. I played it at Rising Seniors. I'm cool with playing there."

There is little doubt that Kublanow is excited about the possibility of playing with the best of the best on national television, but his first focus is helping his Raiders get over that last hump and win a state championship.

"Well this year we have been moved to AAAAAA," said Kublanow. "So there will be new challenges there. We have been working hard, and we have to replace a lot of talent on defense. We have a lot of talent coming back, but we lost a lot too so we just have to keep working hard and take that next step."

As a junior, Kublanow lead the way for his teammate, Alabama running back commit Tyren Jones, who wracked up 2,375 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2011.

According to the star lineman, he and his four partners up front want to help Jones have a record-breaking season.

"We want to get him the state rushing record," said Kublanow. "We want to get him that, and 40 or 50 touchdowns. That is our goal."

The emphasis, at every level of football, has been to get bigger, stronger, and faster, and Kublanow, who already has a reputation as a leader in the weight room, continues to make progress in that area as well.

"Right now I think my bench press is up to 460 pounds," he said. "I want to get my power clean up from 345 to 360 too. We have been working hard in the weight room and we are all getting stronger."

One of the four star's strongest attributes is his ability to play with intensity and finish blocks, but Kublanow isn't completely satisfied with that part of his game either.

He is also working on playing with more intensity and aggression.

"I'm probably going to kill a few kids" he said laughingly. "I'm always trying to improve in every area, and I'm going to get better there too."

As for his recruitment, the Rivals250 lineman has done about all he can do until this point, and now it is just time to make a decision.

"I have visited a lot of schools, and seen a lot of things," said Kublanow. "Now it is just time for me to think about where I fit best and make a decision."

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