Kubik providing size, agility and abilityJesse Kubik had a feeling football would be more than just a sport he played in high school.
By: Dustin Monke, The Dickinson Press
Jesse Kubik had a feeling football would be more than just a sport he played in high school.
Dickinson Trinity’s 6-foot-7, 290-pound senior left tackle has always had the frame college football coaches love to see in a high school player and his footwork has progressed nicely thanks to his work on the basketball court.
However, it took a trip to the North Dakota State football team’s camp last summer and a conversation there with Bison offensive line coach Scott Fuchs to convince Kubik he has a legitimate shot to play at the next level.
“He said he wanted me to be a Bison,” Kubik said, recalling his conversation with Fuchs. “That was good motivation for the season.”
Kubik and the Titans host Bottineau in a Class 2A, West Region game at 5 p.m. today at the Biesiot Activities Center.
Trinity will no doubt be looking to move the ball through the air, its specialty this season. Senior quarterback Ben Gordon said the Titans’ passing game wouldn’t be where it is now if weren’t for Kubik and the Titans’ senior-led offensive line.
Gordon has taken full advantage of having a motivated, college-sized lineman protecting his blindside, throwing for 1,274 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 353 yards and a pair of scores this season.
“It’s nice to have a kid like him,” he said. “When you’re looking to throw the ball, you have 6-6, 300 pounds over there taking care of two people.”
Titans head coach Randy Gordon said Kubik might be the biggest player he has coached in 27 years and just happens to be an ideal fit for the team’s offense, which works almost exclusively out of a pistol set, because of his agility and footwork.
The coach feels that combination of size and dexterity will one day make Kubik a strong college player.
“I can tell them they’re going to get a pretty good character kid and a hard-working kid too,” Randy Gordon said. “He does have good agility. He has good feet and so forth. They’re going to make him better there. It’s a 12-month job that way. That’s going to be Jesse’s decision, whether he wants to be good or not. They’re going to put some more weight and muscle on him and he’s going to be a huge guy in a couple years.”
Kubik hasn’t just piqued NDSU’s interest either.
He plans to visit the University of North Dakota during one of their home games and said NCAA Division II teams Northern State and the University of Mary have been contacting him.
A starter since his sophomore season, Kubik said he has learned over the years that size alone wouldn’t earn him a spot on a college team.
He knew he had to be fast on his feet and have the ability to move like a player who has the football, even though he never would.
“When you’re an offensive lineman, or defensive (lineman), you can’t just be a big guy and take up space,” Kubik said. “You’ve got to have good, quick feet. That’s what schools like. Colleges, for instance, they look for guys who have good, quick feet.”
The past two winters, Kubik has shown just how well he can move in space on the basketball court. Kubik helped the Titans to the Class B state tournament as a sophomore and to a runner-up finish in the Region 7 tournament as a junior.
Randy Gordon said college coaches pay close attention to offensive lineman who play basketball.
“If they’re moving their feet defensively, if they’re boxing out, that stuff. You can tell a lot,” he said. “Plus, you can see the demeanor of the kid too. You’re not hidden by a helmet 70 yards away. You’re going to see the kid and a lot of personality is going to come out.”
Kubik’s decision on where he’ll play his college ball won’t come for a while — NDSU has yet to offer him a scholarship, though he could receive a preferred walk-on offer — and he still has a job to do for the Titans.
A win tonight and a win Tuesday night against No. 4-ranked Beulah puts the Titans in the playoffs.
And there’s nothing more the Titans could ask for in this situation than to have the anchor of their offensive line brimming with confidence.
“I feel like the game is pretty easy right now,” Kubik said with a smile.