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Monday, May 13, 2013
Ohio State 2014 Spotlight: LB Hubbard

By Brad Bournival

Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look further into those juniors offered by Ohio State. We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these Class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes. First on the list is outside linebacker Sam Hubbard, who is actively recruiting the Class of 2014 for the Buckeyes.

Vitals: Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller) is 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds.

Status: He committed to Ohio State on April 5.

Sam Hubbard
Linebacker/defensive end Sam Hubbard committed to Ohio State on April 5.
ESPN.com ranking: He’s not on the ESPN 150 list, but he’s definitely someone to pay attention to. Ranked the 28th-best outside linebacker in the nation, Hubbard played a free safety role last year for the Fighting Crusaders. If he keeps growing into his body, the versatile Hubbard might see a position change to either an H-back or even stand-up defensive end. The Buckeyes haven’t ruled either out.

Numbers game: Hubbard registered 75 tackles -- seven for loss -- forced two fumbles, intercepted two passes and also had a fumble recovery from his aforementioned safety position and led Moeller to its first state title since 1985.

State of the position: The linebacker position remains young this season, but should be full of some seasoned veterans by the time Hubbard comes to Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes picked up huge complements last recruiting season when they scored ESPN 150 backers in Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) and Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) as well as big hitter Christopher Worley (Cleveland/Glenville). Outside linebacker Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius) is slated to join Hubbard on national signing day from the Class of 2014.

What has caught Ohio State’s eye: In a word: Versatility. Hubbard can play virtually every position on defense, and his size and speed make him a mismatch for the offense. He lets his athletic ability and instincts take over and his speed rarely has him out of position. That speed also allows him to be able to line up with slot receivers and hold his own or switch to the tight end where his height zeros out any possible mismatch an offense might have. A tough, physical backer, he’s great against the run, too, making him a perfect fit for the Buckeyes.

What he has said about the Buckeyes: “You’re representing something that’s a national symbol. I’m really excited to be a part of Buckeye Nation, which stretches from sea to shining sea. It’s great to be part of such a big family and such a successful program. I visited in March and was sold right away. I did a good job of keeping that to myself. I knew all along when I visited this time I was going to be ready to commit. I love everything about it. Coach [Urban] Meyer and his staff were just great in expressing an interest in me and telling me what they want from me.”