The NCAA’s best Canadian football player is jacked up for the 2020 season to get underway.
Hubbard finished eighth in voting for the Heisman Trophy last season after rushing 328 times for 2,094 yards — the most in college football. He also recorded 21 touchdowns, all of which came on the ground.
Many were surprised that Hubbard chose to remain at Oklahoma State instead of declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft. The native of Sherwood Park, Alberta was projected to be a second or third-round selection based on his dominant performance as a redshirt sophomore. Hubbard reiterated why he chose to return to the Cowboys in 2020. Clearly, it’s all about his team.
“I didn’t come back to break records for myself. I came back to win a Big 12 championship and a national championship with my team. That’s my main goal,” said Hubbard who met with reporters for the first and only time prior to the season.
The Cowboys are currently the No. 11 team in the country, their highest ranking over the last three years. The Big 12 will be extremely competitive this season with No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 9 Texas, and No. 23 Iowa State all within the conference
Head coach Mike Gundy knows that Hubbard’s big-play ability will be an essential part of his team’s success.
“Once he can turn it loose and go, that’s the home run that he provides our offence,” Gundy said.
“I like his attitude, I like his mental approach, and I like the leadership he’s provided our team.”
There’s little question that Hubbard possesses elite talent as a ball carrier. NFL scouts want to see him become a more well-rounded player, one capable of serving as a blocker and receiver out of the backfield.
“I’ve definitely worked on my routes, flexing outside and stuff like that,” said Hubbard. “In regards to me improving my game, trying to improve running in between the tackles, getting off the edge, open field cuts, all these different things.”
“I just realized that I got to work on a lot of things, and I did. So I’m happy where I’m at right now.”
Hubbard was listed at six-foot-one and 207 pounds last season. Though those numbers haven’t changed for 2020, the young star said his off-season training went well.
“I feel great. I’m bigger, stronger, faster. I fixed a lot of things I need to work on. I feel good going into the season.”
Hubbard spoke out this summer after Mike Gundy was photographed wearing a t-shirt featuring the logo of a far-right news network. The star running back still stands by his comments, even if he regrets taking to Twitter before speaking directly with his head coach.
Though he declined to share specifics on how the Cowboys program has changed since the incident, Hubbard reiterated his position regarding social justice and racial equality.
“I’m a caring person. I care a lot about my teammates. I care a lot about people I don’t even know,” said Hubbard.
“I’m always trying to be for the greater good — that’s always what I’m trying to do. Sometimes I may slip up and do the wrong thing, but I always got the right intentions. I’m just trying to do my part to make this world a better place.”
We’re seeing a trend towards young athletes being more outspoken about social issues. It’s clear that Hubbard wants athletes to continue voicing their opinions.
“I think the players’ voices are very important. We’re the people playing, so to hear our voices and consider what we’re saying is important.”
Saturday’s contest between Tulsa and No. 11 Oklahoma State is 3DownNation’s CanCon Game of the Week. Kickoff is at 12:00 PM EST and can be watched on TSN2.