“I felt like, I really like this spot and I can get this over with and look forward to college while being able to focus on my team,” Rutherford said. “Now I don’t have to worry about anything. I just can go out there, perform the best I can and help my team win. This team is my brothers and I want to be here with them fully."
Cinco Ranch head coach Chris Dudley can remember the very first drive of Gavin Rutherford’s varsity career.
“We’re playing College Park to open the season and Gavin, first drive of the season as a sophomore, is just ripping balls left and right,” Dudley said. “He led us straight down the field in his first ever varsity drive for a touchdown. You could see it that quickly.”
That one drive was all it took for Dudley to understand he had a special player on his hands. A player that would go on to become one of Cinco Ranch’s most prolific, even before he played a single game of his senior season.
Rutherford as he enters his senior year, already holds the Cinco Ranch career mark for most passing yards and passing touchdowns as a Cougar. His success brought him a number of scholarship opportunities to play collegiately at the next level.
Rutherford thought about his options and kept circling back to one place, Stephen F. Austin.
But, still, Rutherford went into this summer keeping his options open, that is until he attended the Stephen F. Austin camp in Nacogdoches. From there, Rutherford’s decision was made clear.
“I had been talking to them since before we went into spring ball this year,” Rutherford said. “They came out here and they gave me a lot of love. They would text and call me and showed me I was in their plans. They were always in the back of my mind, and then when I went to camp and it made my decision easy. The energy was insane. I loved it, loved being around there, in the quarterback room everyone treated me so well and then I know a lot of people up there already. It just made me really want to make my decision.”
Rutherford has already shown what he can do at the high school level, leading Cinco Ranch to the regional semifinals last season and throwing for over 2,750 yards last year and throwing 29 touchdowns to just five interceptions as a junior, averaging over 211 yards per game though the air.
But it isn’t Rutherford’s arm that sets him up for the greatest success at the high school level, or what will be his greatest strength at the collegiate level according to Dudley. Dudley believes that Rutherford’s biggest asset is his football IQ.
“He’s one of our most heavily recruited players to ever come through here and there’s a reason for that,” Dudley said. “He checks off all the boxes, on and off the field. His football IQ, just ability to read defenses, have the pocket awareness to buy himself an extra second or two, picking his spots on when to run, and being a leader. Gavin makes everyone around him better, and that’s what great leaders do.”
Rutherford is over the moon about his decision, but as important as it was for him, it was also important to Rutherford that he get his recruitment process done before the start of his senior season.
As important as finding his collegiate home was, Rutherford wants to be singularly focused on Cinco Ranch this fall.
“I felt like, I really like this spot and I can get this over with and look forward to college while being able to focus on my team,” Rutherford said. “Now I don’t have to worry about anything. I just can go out there, perform the best I can and help my team win. This team is my brothers and I want to be here with them fully. I love them and this year is really important to all of us.”
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