JUCO Football: Babb’s signing with Minot a dream come true

Cody Hendricks, left, and Dillon Babb, right, signed their letters of intent with Missouri Valley and Minot State, respectively, on April 29 at Gavilan College. They are shown here with linebackers coach Rowen Tupuivao.

GILROY—Football runs through Dillon Babb’s blood.
The Gavilan inside linebacker has been playing for over a decade and said he’s most comfortable in his helmet and shoulder pads, surrounded by familiar faces all fighting for a common goal. And he’ll be in the company of several friends when he suits for Minot State University this fall.
Babb inked his letter of intent with the Beavers on April 29 at Gavilan College. While his time with the Rams has come to an end, the Gilroy native will find a slice of the Garlic Capital in Minot, N.D. He’s joining a roster that already includes Christopher High’s Anthony Sammut, Gilroy High’s Darius Alexander Jones, Gavilan teammate Seth Holcomb and Gilroy native Marcel Brinson.
“I’m going to a place that I have a lot of friends going to, so it’s a comfortable spot for me,” Babb said. “It was a dream come true signing somewhere. As a little kid, I looked forward to that day.”
Babb graduated from Christopher High in 2012. The Cougar standout was named to the Charlie Wedemeyer South All Star team and earned First Team All-League honors, but struggled with whether he wanted to continue playing football after high school.
After a year off, he decided to give it one more shot and joined the Rams for the 2013 season. Being among then-head coach Spencer Gilford and linebackers coach Rowen Tupuivao, Babb said, reignited his passion for football.
“After getting out there, I knew it was a pretty good spot for me,” he said. “(I learned) to keep fighting…(Tupuivao) always told us to keep fighting to the death, so that’s one thing I’ll take with me.”
Babb admitted he had a lot to learn when he joined the Rams as a freshman, but he flourished quickly. He racked up 161 total tackles—110 solo—11 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles while in a Rams uniform. Eighty-nine of those tackles came his sophomore year, earning him an All-Golden Coast League honorable mention. And he did it all while playing with an injured back.
“(Dillon is an) extremely hard worker and very resilient,” Rams interim coach Mike Dovenberg said. “(He had) had significant adversities…but overcame those because (he) preserved and trusted the process. Now it’s paid off and will continue to pay off.”
With the semester winding down and the football season quickly approaching, Babb will soon be on his way to North Dakota. He’s joining a Beavers team that went 1-10 last season and gave up 40-plus points in six games last year. Dovenberg said he’s confident Babb will be an instrumental piece in strengthening Minot’s defense as he was the “heart and soul” of the Rams’ line this year.
“(Babb) made a lot of plays for us,” Dovenberg said. “(He) definitely brought us back to where we need to be when guys needed to wake up and be leaders.”
While Babb said he will always call Gilroy home, he’s looking forward to what awaits him in the Midwest.
“I wanted to go somewhere far…I just wanted to keep playing,” Babb said. “As a little kid your dream was to go pro, so I’m just trying to live the dream.”

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