DeMatha’s Brock Ruble juggles offers from major college football programs

Ask Brock Ruble which schools he holds offers from and the DeMatha offensive tackle might hesitate. It’s not that the junior doesn’t have an answer; in fact, it’s just the opposite. Ruble has reeled in so much interest from college programs since the fall that he’s taken to naming his scholarship offers in alphabetical order so that he doesn’t forget one.

“Connecticut, Florida State, Maryland, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia,” Ruble said in a Thursday night phone interview.

Of all these major football programs, only Maryland has seen Ruble compete in person after checking out the Stags’ matchup with Good Counsel in December’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. The rest are simply intrigued by Ruble’s game film and imposing size at 6-foot-9, 302 pounds.

Ruble’s junior season marked his first as a starter at left tackle and Stags Coach Elijah Brooks said Ruble has caught on quickly.

“He’s aggressive, he can get to the next level to block defenders and he also has a high football IQ,” Brooks said. “A lot of times, you don’t realize how big someone like that is until you’re standing beside them in pads, so I think coaches are definitely blown away by his size. But what’s most impressive is how physical the guy is.”

As Ruble continued to grow both high and wide as a child, his athletic dreams rested in basketball, not football. It wasn’t until this past fall, when he received his first offer from Rutgers, that Ruble realized his future was on the gridiron. He also possesses a football pedigree from his father, Gary, who was an offensive lineman at North Carolina in the 1980s.

Though his size is what coaches want in a lineman, at 6-9, Ruble’s greatest challenge is making sure he stays low to ground when blocking.

“As the season went on and I got more in-game experience, the game started to slowed down for me,” Ruble said. “My footwork improved and I started knowing the plays better. Staying low to keep my leverage became a habit, and that’s helped me be more effective.”

With Ruble opening holes along the line, the Stags racked up 2,809 rushing yards and nearly produced an 1,000-yard rusher in junior Taiwan Deal (955 yards). Brooks has high hopes for Ruble’s senior season, when the Stags are expected to challenge even more in the WCAC behind their strong class of rising seniors.

“Next year I think he’ll really show what he can do with us running behind in the run game, having him pull on tackle traps and show his athleticism in getting to defenders in open space,” Brooks said. “The sky’s the limit for Brock.”

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.

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Eric Detweiler · February 15, 2013

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