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June 11, 2013

Hubbard reflects on Ohio State recruitment

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sam Hubbard is a year away from arriving on the Ohio State campus for the start of his college career, but he's already causing problems for his future coaches.

The good kind of problems.

The 2014 Buckeyes commit gave his pledge to Ohio State back in April, without much indication as to what position he'll be playing at the next level. A three-star prospect, Hubbard has excelled at Cincinnati's Moeller high school at both tight end and outside linebacker, leaving the Buckeyes coaching staff at odds over which side of the ball he'll land on in Columbus.

"It's still wide open there," Hubbard said following OSU's one-day position camp on Sunday. "They said they have fights all the time in the staff room when the subject comes up between offense and defense."

During his most recent trip to Columbus, Hubbard performed drills in both position groups, wowing Buckeyes defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Luke Fickell, as well as tight ends coach Tim Hinton. At 6-foot-6, 223 pounds, Hubbard has the size to play either spot at the college level, but said that he doesn't have a preference as to where he ends up.

"I've been playing mainly defense, I'm kind of sticking with that right now, but it's all up to them," he said. "I'll do whatever, it doesn't really matter."

The problem of not knowing where Hubbard is going to play is one that the OSU coaching staff is lucky to have. After all, it was merely months ago that that he was committed to spending his college career at Notre Dame as a lacrosse player. Hubbard's plans changed, however, after he received a visit from Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer and cornerbacks coach and Kerry Coombs.

"That's when it really kind of opened up my eyes and I declared that I would be a recruit for football," Hubbard said of the visit from Meyer and Coombs, a Cincinnati native. "Then the offers started rolling in and I visited here and that's kind of how it happened."

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Although he's not even an active member of the OSU roster yet, Hubbard is already doing his best to help the program. Along with his fellow Buckeye commits, he is actively pursuing more recruits to join his class, including a couple of highly-touted offensive linemen.

"We're really trying to get Jamarco Jones. He's got his decision coming up and we'd benefit having him. Demetrius Knox is another a big O-lineman we're trying to go after," Hubbard said. "It's a really group effort and all the guys do a great job. It's a big part of the recruiting process."

Unlike most campers on Sunday, many of whom were trying to earn a scholarship offer from the Ohio State coaching staff, Hubbard has little left to prove to the Buckeyes' coaches- at least for another year. Still, that didn't stop him from making the drive up I-71 -- one that he'll make again for OSU's second camp on June 21st -- in hopes of helping ease the tension inside the Buckeyes' meeting room.

"I just wanted to get some work in with Coach Fickell and the tight ends coach," Hubbard said. "They really want to get me out here to shine and figure out where I'll play, what position I'll be."

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