If you talk to Lakewood (Ohio) St. Edwards' wide receiver/tight end Kyle Hubbard for any length of time, his love for the game of basketball quickly becomes very apparent. That certainly was the case when GoBlueWolverine ventured down to Ohio to watch him in action on the hardwood. Unlike many gridiron stars, he didn't look like a football player trying to play basketball. That said, he did provide some much-needed muscle and toughness off the bench for the talented Eagles squad (which also features sophomore standout Delvon Roe). Hubbard feels that productivity will only increase as the year presses on.
"My season is going all right, but since I got into things real late from football I've been struggling a little bit," he said. "But in the last couple of games, I've been getting back into it. I've been getting back into the rhythm I had last year."
For a young man 6-4, 225-pounds, Hubbard is surprisingly nimble. He showed good body control around the basket, often contorting himself to get the ball up over taller players. He also displayed the ability to put the ball on the floor and take his man off of the dribble. With those skills as part of his repertoire, it's no coincidence that he compares himself to an NFL star with similar abilities.
"I pretty much describe my style by saying I'm like Antonio Gates," he said. "I pattern my game after his. I play wide receiver in high school, but everybody is looking at me for tight end. I think when I get to college I'll be able to use (i.e. beat) a lot of linebackers and DB's because I'm deceptively fast and quick. I ran a 4.6 when I was up at Michigan, but I didn't know how to run a forty. I sort of jumped when I took off, then I slowed down, and then took off again. The guy told me with some training on how to run that I could easily get that down. I'm pretty fast."
A number of top programs have taken notice of Hubbard's impressive talent and
have been in contact. He feels that it is only a matter of time before scholarships
from a few of his favorites are on the table. "I wasn't used to this football stuff," he said. "This is really like my second year
actually playing football, but schools have been looking at me. I like Michigan,
Ohio State, Texas, and Miami of Florida. I don't have offers from any of them
right now, but all of them are showing interest. I don't have a favorite. Everybody
"Michigan is on me the hardest right now though."
The Wolverines made a real impression on the Ohio star when he traveled to Ann Arbor recently for the annual junior day. "It was real nice," Hubbard said. "I liked it. I liked how they took us over to the basketball game. That wasn't the first time I had been to Michigan, but it was the first time I had been to a basketball game. I loved it! I liked the academic center too. It was real nice. They showed us all around there."
Hubbard plans to take more visits in the coming months, including a return trip to Michigan. For the time being he doesn't know exactly where he will visit or when, but that is not a major concern right now. "I think we are supposed to be taking a tour to different camps so I'll see more schools that way," he said. "I'll just visit the other schools that I'm interested in. I'm not in a hurry because I'm not going to make an early decision. I'm going to go through the process. I'll probably decide next season sometime."
The visits will a very key role in Hubbard's decision making process. He has a set list of criteria that the program of choice will meet. "I'm going to look at how far it is from home, because I want my parents to see me play," Hubbard explained. "I will also look at whether I like the school, the people, and how good the academics are. Another big thing is if the coaches are truthful to me."
For video of Hubbard in action, check out theses clips from Bucknuts.com: Massillon-St. Ed Highlights