Quarterback Luke Rubenzer, who has committed to play football at Cal beginning in 2014, is looking more and more like a hidden gem.

Generally overlooked by the recruiting experts, Rubenzer earned acclaim this week by securing a spot in the final Elite 11 rankings at The Opening, a high-level camp at Beaverton, Ore.

The high school senior from Scottsdale, Ariz., was the only Pac-12 recruit and the only quarterback unranked among Scout.com's top 63 prospects who made the list, compiled by ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer and his Elite 11 coaching staff.

"It was awesome to see that I made the cut," Rubenzer said in a phone interview. "Just a great feeling to know other people are finally recognizing that I can compete with the best."

K.J. Carta-Samuels of Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, who has committed to play at Vanderbilt in 2014, was fifth on the Elite 11 ladder.

Two top Bay Area prospects at the event -- including Stanford-bound Keller Chryst of Palo Alto -- failed to earn positions among the final Elite 11. Also bypassed was Oregon-bound Morgan Mahalic of Marin Catholic-Kentfield.

Topping the Elite 11 rankings was Sean White from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., who still hasn't settled on a college destination. But while White's performance was a surprise, at least he is ranked No. 60 among Scout's national prospects at the position.

Ten of the quarterbacks on the Elite 11 list are ranked by Scout, seven of them in the top-20.


Advertisement

The exception is Rubenzer, listed as a three-star prospect by Scout but unranked, perhaps because he stands just 6-feet tall. But Rubenzer completed nearly 69 percent of his passes last season at Saguaro High, throwing 36 touchdowns.

In its final evaluations at the Elite 11 camp, ESPN.com wrote, "Rubenzer turned on his play in the second day of 7-on-7 play. ... He isn't the biggest prospect on the field, but he never let his limitations get in the way."

Rubenzer said he rarely pays attention to the rankings.

"When I do look at them, it's more motivation to prove people wrong," he said. "It's not a matter of me knowing I can do it. It's just a matter of other people knowing.

"I've known for a long time I'm able to compete with the best and out-perform the higher-ranked kids."

Carta-Samuels, the 19th-rated quarterback by Scout.com, also made a strong impression.

"Coming into the event there wasn't much hype surrounding Carta-Samuels," ESPN.com wrote. "The Vanderbilt commit scored well above average on some of the off-the-field tests given to the quarterbacks and he looked excellent on the field as well."