Home Sports Local Sports Goddard’s Fernando Rubio signs with ENMU

Goddard’s Fernando Rubio signs with ENMU

Goddard senior Fernando Rubio signed a letter of intent Wednesday to play college football at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales this fall. From left, Oscar Rubio, father; Valentino Rubio, brother; Fernando Rubio; and Theresa Rubio, mother. (Shawn Naranjo Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Zac Alfers
Special to RDR Sports

Goddard High School football standout Fernando Rubio will be taking his talents to the collegiate level after signing a National Letter of Intent to play at Eastern New Mexico University this upcoming fall.

Fernando is a strong, versatile football player who has led his squad in tackles for the past two seasons. At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, the 17-year-old wreaked havoc on both sides of the ball earning First Team All-District accolades as a junior at tight end and defensive end.

His work in the classroom has been just as impressive as his athletic accomplishments. After being named to the All-Academic Team for the past three years, Fernando has maintained a 3.7 overall GPA and currently holds a perfect 4.0 this semester.

He is also a decorated wrestler for the Rockets and finished second in nationals as a sophomore before winning the tournament in his weight class as a junior.

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Despite being a multitalented student-athlete, Fernando admits football has a special place in his heart. His father, Oscar Rubio, remembers his son carrying around a football since he was just 5 years old and knew that Fernando was going to be special on the gridiron.

Once Fernando turned 8, he was enrolled in a local youth football league and began to build up his athletic arsenal. By the time he reached the high school level, Fernando was one of the fastest edge rushers on the field at all times and his aggressive mindset made him a nightmare for opposing offenses.

Fernando recalls one game in particular that stands out above the rest during his high school career, a road game against Lovington High School. As a young football player, Fernando’s only focus was preparing for the game and on his way into the stadium, he completely overlooked the commotion that was going on around the field.

For Lovington, this game held significant importance as Hall of Fame linebacker Brian Urlacher was flown in on a helicopter to support his alma mater. It wasn’t until Fernando stepped onto the field for warmups that he spotted Urlacher.

As a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, Fernando was determined to put together a spectacular performance in front of one of his childhood idols. He did not disappoint as he helped carry the Rockets to a dominant 49-7 victory over the Wildcats. For his son’s efforts, Oscar Rubio presented Fernando with a signed Urlacher jersey that has since been framed and remains in the boy’s room.

In preparation for his collegiate career, Fernando has been training vigorously this offseason with workouts planned for every day of the week. He has vowed to get stronger and faster while also focusing on his footwork and explosiveness off the line.

On Saturdays, Fernando travels to Albuquerque to train with former San Francisco 49er and current Duke City Gladiator quarterback Nate Davis. Davis usually brings some of his professional teammates who push the younger players like Fernando to get better each day. Sundays are just as important to his workout routine as Fernando drives out to the sand dunes and runs through position drills to increase his stamina.

Looking forward to his collegiate career, Fernando is chomping at the bit to get back out there after missing out on his senior season due to complications caused by the coronavirus. After nearly a year separated from his last meaningful football game, he said, “I can’t wait to strap on a helmet. I’ve been waiting for so long and I want to be the best person out on that field.”

With a rare combination of size and speed, Fernando will undoubtedly fit right in at the next level. He believes he will gel perfectly with the defensive line unit at ENMU because he says he embraces hard work and always brings 100% effort to practice. Fernando feels like his work ethic is contagious and that it will push the entire unit to improve.

“It’s like a dream come true,” said Oscar Rubio, when asked what this moment felt like to him and the rest of the family. “It’s exciting to see him get this recognition and that his hard work is paying off for him. He put in the work and he realizes this is just the beginning. It’s time for him to find another gear within himself and get ready for the college level.”

Fernando will study biology at ENMU and plans to become a physician assistant once he finishes his degree and hangs up his cleats. In the meantime, the Greyhounds have an extremely gifted defensive end on their roster and he is eager to prove he is worth the hype.

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