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Thursday, March 21, 2013
Ohio State offers versatile 2014 OLB

By Brad Bournival

Changing sports could do wonders for the college recruitment of Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Archbishop Moeller).

An accomplished lacrosse player who has committed to Notre Dame, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Hubbard talked with his football coach John Rodenberg about the gridiron and maybe switching sports allegiances.

“When I told him I thought he’d get offers from some football schools, he gave me a list,” Rodenberg said. “He said, ‘I really like Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame or Stanford.’ I said, ‘Well, I’ll call those schools and see what their interest is.’

“Stanford, Ohio State and Michigan got back to me real quick. Ohio State is a big offer for him. He’s an intelligent kid. He knows what it takes to compete at a high level. He went up to talk to Coach [Urban] Meyer a few weeks ago on a visit. He’s excited. He thinks they’re going to win a national championship at Ohio State. I don’t know if it’s definitely changing sports, but I would say it’s changing pretty heavily toward football.”

With offers from Boston College, Illinois, Louisville, Ohio State and Stanford as well as interest from Duke and Michigan, it’s easy to see why.

Playing free safety last season, the junior registered 75 tackles -- seven for loss -- forced two fumbles, intercepted two passes and registered a fumble recovery.

“He’s a leader,” Rodenberg said. “He’s a hard worker in the weight room and the classroom. Physically, he’s gifted with his size. As a football player, oh my god -- he hasn’t even touched his potential.

“As a junior he had a breakout year. His body is now beginning to develop. He was a 6-foot-5, 175 free safety; now he’s a 6-foot-6, 225-pound free safety we don’t know what to do with.”

Hubbard's quickness, along with his frame, allows him to play anywhere on the field defensively.

As far as the next level is concerned, his coach thinks it’s all a matter of where a school might have an area of need.

“He’s got great speed,” Rodenberg said. “He’s got good feet and hips. He can cover. He has a nose for the ball.

“His tackling is getting better. Whoever gets him is in for a talent. He can play defensive end. He can play linebacker. He can play safety.”