If you thought Chuba Hubbard was fast on the football field, wait until you see him at the negotiating table.
The Sherwood Park, Alberta native was selected by the Carolina Panthers in last week’s 2021 NFL Draft in the fourth round, 126 overall, but has already put pen to paper on his rookie contract, one of the first members of the 2021 draft class to do so.
Terms of the deal were not immediately made available, but based on the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement which provides the parameters for rookie deal the running back should receive a $713,174 signing bonus and nearly $4.2 million total from Carolina.
At his Oklahoma State University pro day, Hubbard ran a hand-timed 4.36 forty-yard dash. He also recorded a 36-inch vertical jump, 10-foot broad jump, 4.26 short shuttle, 7.24 three-cone, and performed 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.
Over the course of his college career, Hubbard put up impressive numbers, particularly Baylor teams led by current Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. Those embarrassments led Rhule’s wife to specifically request him to draft Hubbard.
Hubbard led the NCAA with 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore and was named the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year. He finished eighth in voting for the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious award in college football.
Many pundits speculated that he would have been a second or third-round pick had he declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. Instead, Hubbard returned to Oklahoma State for his redshirt junior season, proving his desire to lead his team to a conference championship.
The Cowboys started the season strong at 5-1 but were manhandled by rival Oklahoma on November 21 by a score of 41-13. Hubbard re-aggravated an injury that had plagued him for parts of the year, ending his season. Hubbard finished the season with 133 carries for 625 yards and five touchdowns, by far the worst totals of his college career.
Hubbard drew the attention of American scouts when he played at Bev Facey Community High School in his hometown. He rushed 458 times for 6,880 yards and 82 touchdowns over three years playing Canadian football.
Should he ever decide to return home to Canada, Hubbard will have a soft landing spot. The Canadian superstar was selected 43rd overall in the fifth round of Tuesday’s 2021 CFL Draft by the Calgary Stampeders.