Oklahoma State’s Hubbard primed for big season
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard didn’t get double-digit carries in a game last season until November. Now, he’s a preseason All-Big 12 selection.
Hubbard got an unexpected chance to shine when Justice Hill was injured late last season. In four games as the primary back, Hubbard averaged 106.3 yards a game and 5.4 yards per carry.
“He took it on like a pro,” fellow running back LD Brown said. “He was very mature on it. He was built for it.”
Hubbard worked hard in the offseason and is primed to have a greater role this season now that Hill is with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens. Hubbard is a complete package — a speedster with power and good hands.
He certainly passes coach Mike Gundy’s eye test.
“He’s about as pretty as they get,” Gundy said. “He’s about 208, 210 pounds, and I don’t know how fast he is, but he’s really fast.”
Hubbard finished last season with 740 yards rushing and 229 yards receiving. He ran for 104 yards and three touchdowns against Oklahoma, rushed for 138 yards against West Virginia and capped his freshman season with a 145-yard performance in the Liberty Bowl win over Missouri.
Oklahoma State receiver Tylan Wallace can relate to Hubbard. He waited two years ago behind Biletnikoff Award winner James Washington, then emerged from obscurity last season to rank second nationally with 1,491 yards and become a Biletnikoff Award finalist.
Hill ran for 3,539 yards at Oklahoma State and was a two-time All-Big 12 pick, so stepping into that role came with pressure for Hubbard.
“Chuba was kind of like me in having to sit behind somebody that was an NFL talent kind of guy,” Wallace said. “It was a crazy experience. We had to sit back and wait our turn. We kind of showed out when we went out there.”
Brown, the No. 2 back, is a 191-pound speedster with a career average of 6.1 yards per carry. Gundy expects Hubbard and Brown to work well together.
“LD has done really well,” Gundy said. “He has come a long way. He’s a really good example of years of maturity. If those guys stay healthy through camp, they’ll be a good package.”
Oklahoma State receiver Dillon Stoner sees good things ahead for Hubbard.
“He just continued to get better and better every game,” Stoner said. “I think he’ll pick up right where he left off last season and continue to get better. He takes his offseason very seriously, and I’m very excited to see what he can do this year.”
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP