by RANDY GREGORY
Brandon Lubenow, a 2012 Rockford graduate, became the latest Ram football player to finalize his plans for the upcoming season. After traveling to Big Rapids to meet with new Bulldog Coach Tony Annese recently, Lubenow strutted his stuff and left with an invitation to become a member of this year’s Ferris State University (FSU) squad.
“Coach Annese was a very personable and funny guy, and he felt I had the talent to compete at that level after watching me go through some drills,” said Lubenow. “I have put on about twenty pounds since last season at Rockford and have been able to maintain my speed. Coach Annese said they will line me up as a slot receiver and see what I can bring to the table.”
Lubenow played primarily as a wide receiver for the Rams, but also saw some time as a defensive back. He saved his best game of the year for the final game of the 2011 season. In that contest the Rams lost in overtime to Detroit Catholic Central (DCC) in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Division I semifinals. The stout Shamrock defense and several untimely injuries to Rockford running backs forced the Rams to the air. Lubenow and Ram quarterback Mark LaPrairie repeatedly torched the DCC defense with a deft passing attack and, despite coming up three points short in the extra session, the duo left all in attendance marveling at their exploits.
Rockford Coach Ralph Munger said that the difference in Lubenow physically is striking and feels he has a chance to be a difference maker for the Bulldogs.
“Brandon came out to our quarterback clinic and really looked good catching some passes from the QBs that were there,” said Munger. “He is a lot thicker and looked at least as quick as he was last season for us. He has always had the potential and I think that Ferris State is getting a highly motivated young man who can make some plays for them.”
Lubenow will have a couple of familiar faces in Big Rapids when he arrives there on August 7. Former Ram quarterbacks Robert Banaszak and Taylor Masiewicz are both members of the team this year as well. He is also no less ambitious when it comes to his pursuits academically at FSU.
“I am going to enter pre-med and pursue a degree in optometry,” said Lubenow. “Training camp starts for us on August 8 and I can’t wait to get on the football field again. This is a great opportunity for me and I am very thankful to get the chance to continue my career.”