Offensive lineman Brandon Kublanow (Marietta, Ga./Walton Senior) has a very simple philosophy when he steps onto the football field.
“I just try to be as mean as possible,” Kublanow told DawgNation recently.
On Dec. 11, Kublanow and his Walton teammates faced the undefeated Grayson Rams for the Georgia Class AAAAA state championship. The contest pitted Kublanow against the likely top player in the state next year, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville, Ga./Grayson). Grayson shut out Walton for the title, but Kublanow feels he won the private battle in the trenches.
“Personally I thought I kicked his butt,” Kublanow said. “He is good, very good. I didn’t get to go up against him a lot, but I pancaked him. He didn’t like it too much, but I got him.”
Nkemdiche isn’t used to meeting anyone on the gridiron who can go toe-to-toe with him.
“He ripped my helmet off,” Kublanow said. “He didn’t like it, but I pancaked him. We went back and watched the film.”
So is a rematch imminent next year?
“Yes, definitely,” Kublanow said. “In the state championship game.”
Kublanow has already garnered a reputation as a hard-nosed player who won’t back down. Sometimes that makes him a target for opposing defenses.
“Other teams come after me all the time but I think I only had five personal fouls this year,” Kublanow said. “So that is pretty good. I thought that was a pretty good number.”
The thought of being labeled a dirty player or a thug doesn’t seem to bother Kublanow.
“I am not worried,” Kublanow said. “It is just football.”
Recently Kublanow participated in the Rising Seniors Bowl in Atlanta, a weeklong camp and all-star game attended by 90 of Georgia’s top 2013 prospects. He played center and guard for the West squad, demonstrating the toughness and versatility that has led to early offers.
“I have offers from Georgia Tech, Duke, Vanderbilt and Georgia,” Kublanow said. “I wouldn’t really say I have a leader. I like Georgia a lot, and I like Vanderbilt a lot.”
Kublanow is not just a scrapper, and the Commodores are always looking for intelligent linemen.
“Vandy has great academics, and I love Coach [James] Franklin and Coach [Charles] Bankins,” Kublanow said. “I love the coaching staff up there.”
As for the in-state Bulldogs, they just may have the inside track with Kublanow.
“I love the tradition they have there,” Kublanow said. “I have been a fan of theirs for a really long time. I like coach Mark Richt and Coach [Will] Friend. I like the way they run.”