Central’s dominant DL Bain caps prep career as Miami-Dade defensive player of the year for 2M-1M
On the long list of accolades Rueben Bain compiled in his four years at Miami Central, one stands out above the rest.
Even greater than his four state titles and one national championship, he said, is the Nat Moore Trophy he won last year because it signifies he’s the best player in the region that he believes plays the best high school football in the country.
Now, Bain has another local award to add to his case as one of the best players to ever come through South Florida.
The elite defensive lineman is the Miami Herald’s Miami-Dade County Defensive Player of the Year for Classes 2M-1M.
“South Florida’s got the best football in general, so to be claimed the best in the best spot,” he said, “it’s a different level.”
Bain was also one of the Herald’s Miami-Dade County Co-Defensive Players of the Year for
Classes 5A-Independent in 2021, sharing the award with former teammate Wesley Bissainthe, with whom he’ll team up again next year on the Miami Hurricanes’ defense.
This year, there was little doubt about who was the best defensive player in Dade County and Bain effectively put any potential debate to rest on the first day of his senior season.
Central opened with a road upset of then-No. 4 Bradenton IMG Academy and Bain was the best player on the field, racking up six tackles, three tackles for loss and three sacks.
The win ultimately propelled the Rockets to their first national championship, according to NationalHSFB.com, and they finished the season at No. 2 in MaxPreps’ national rankings as the highest ranked undefeated team in the country.
“His will to win kind of superseded everything,” Central coach Jube Joseph said. “Coming in, we knew it was a national game, but once the bullets start flying and we start playing football, he knew that he needed to make the plays as opposed to getting stats. He did whatever was necessary for the team to be successful.
“He literally fought his way through a lot of those sacks . ... It was a battle to even get to the quarterback. He was relentless in his pursuit to dominating in that game and he did a great job, and it just also showed how selfless he was because he allowed us to move him around, be it at defensive end, tackle, whatever’s going to help us win.”
It was only the start for Bain. After setting Central’s single-season sacks record with 29 in 2021, Bain added 29 more as a senior, along with 57 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and one pass defended. He recovered a fumble with 1:17 left in the Class 2M championship last month in Fort Lauderdale to seal the Rockets’ 38-31 win against then-No. 10 Plantation American Heritage.
The 6-2, 250-pound
edge rusher won state titles in all four years at Central, played a key role in all four and earned first-team all-county honors from the Herald in his final three seasons. He finished high school with 77 sacks in 52 games.
As a senior, he changed his jersey number from 11 to 4 in a nod to some program history.
No. 4 is something of an iconic number for the Rockets, usually gifted to the great running backs — and there have been plenty
— to come through Central.
Bain, he said, became the first defensive player to get the number since Bryan Pata, who also went on to play defensive line for the Hurricanes, 20 years ago.