Despite a large football following, there aren’t a ton of us Canadians in the NFL. There are currently only 13 Canadians in the league, and a large majority of them aren’t offensive skill position players, thus fantasy relevant.
Of those 13 players, none are from my home province of Alberta. Big fat zero. That’s why I’m so fired up with the prospect of Chuba Hubbard entering the NFL. The Oklahoma State product is a native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, where he played his high school football before going South of the border.
Up until recently, Hubbard was identified as a ‘former track star’, who was the backup to Justice Hill. Since Hill has been drafted, he has absolutely destroyed that label.
Don’t get me wrong, he still has elite level speed, but he’s much more than that.
The 6’1” 210-pound RB blew away the competition in high school. He rushed for 6,880 yards and 82 TDs in 3 years, which led to him being the only 4-star prospect from the province.
After arriving in Oklahoma, Hubbard took a redshirt season before suiting up in 2018. Even with Hill in the picture, Hubbard saw substantial work and certainly impressed. He rushed for 740 yards and 7 TDs while adding 22 receptions.
A breakdown of his college stats can be seen below:
In 2019, he has exploded and there looks to be a legitimate possibility he smashes the 2,000-yard rushing mark. Through 5 games, he has 938 rush yards and 10 TDs. He has shown out in a big way against ranked schools such as Kansas State (296 yards), and Texas (121 yards). The 296 yards against KSU broke Barry Sanders’ record for yards against a ranked opponent. He currently leads all of NCAA with rushing attempts and rushing yards on the season. He has 311 more yards than the 2nd leading rush (AJ Dillon).
It sounds cliché to refer to his breakaway speed, but you have to mention it. He has quick nimble feet, makes one cut, and is gone to the house!
His stop-start ability is what makes him special in my opinion. He has defenders falling at his feet as he shifts direction, accelerates, then stops on a dime. His jump cuts and acceleration are difficult for defenders to adjust to. For an example of this, go back and watch his tape against Missouri in 2018. There are literally plays where he hurdles defenders and makes 5-6 defenders miss tackles on one rush. If he gets any space from his O-line, it’s going to be difficult stopping the man.
Hubbard is beginning to get some Heisman whispers, and rightfully slow. To move up to the top of my 2020 rookie rankings, I do want to see more in the passing game. We got a little glimpse of his passing game ability with 22 catches in 2018, but it’d be awesome to see him running more routes and catching close to 40 balls in 2014.
Either way, I’m going to be cheering for my homeboy every juke, deek, and step of the way. It’s about time an Alberta boy made it, eh?!