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For Blue Streaks’ Kyle Hubbard, route to JCU has been quite a journey

October 1st, 2009

Going to college can be tough.

A student has to deal with orientation sessions, meeting new people, familiarizing themselves with the new area and adjusting to new food.

The process is different for each student, but how about going through all of the “adjustment” stuff three times in less than one year?

That is what was required for John Carroll University football wide receiver Kyle Hubbard as he spent time at the University of Pittsburgh and Cleveland State University before coming to JCU.

Coming out of football powerhouse Lakewood’s St. Edward High School in 2007, Hubbard received first-team All-State honors for football.

Rivals.com, a highly respected recruiting service, ranked Hubbard  as the 45th best tight end in the country and the 49th best player in his high school class in the state of Ohio.

Hubbard said he was offered nearly 60 football scholarships including offers from The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan,  the University of Miami (Fla.) and other national powers.

Hubbard eventually took one of his NCAA sanctioned official visits to Pitt and visited with head coach Dave Wanndstedt. He enjoyed his time there, eventually catapulting the school to the top of his list.

Hubbard struggled with his tough decision, and started to give the University of North Carolina consideration when Tar Heels’ head coach Butch Davis met with him and suggested he could mold him  into the next Andre Johnson, one of the top receivers in the NFL with the Houston Texans.

In addition, Hubbard was also being recruited to play big-time college basketball, receiving interest from major powers such as the University of Louisville and Clemson University.

Hubbard eventually committed to Pittsburgh to play football and attended their training camp sessions in late summer of 2007.

After two-a-days concluded, Hubbard left the Panthers football program and enrolled at  Cleveland State University, with the intention to play basketball.

“The city’s [Pittsburgh] not really me,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard also suggested he had a false perception of what Pitt would be like based on his official visit.

“They show you everything that you want to see, but you don’t live it, you don’t live all the stuff [you have to do when you get there],” he said.

Other factors contributed to his departure.

“I don’t want to seem like I’m lazy or anything like that because I did everything,” he said. “I did everything and I didn’t take one day off.”

When Hubbard enrolled at CSU to play basketball, he and head coach Gary Waters did not see eye to eye on certain things.

“My mind wasn’t in it,” said Hubbard of his days as a Viking.

He was quick to point out that Coach Waters was very good to him and understanding about the situation Hubbard was in.

“[Coach Waters] was a really good guy,” Hubbard said.

After CSU, Hubbard had the option of playing Division I football again. Schools such as the  University of Florida and UNC were still interested in recruiting Hubbard.

While considering his options, Hubbard had a chance meeting at a CSU basketball game with JCU head basketball coach Mike Moran. Hubbard has known Moran since the sixth grade.

Moran convinced Hubbard to come to JCU to play basketball.

“He saw something in me that I didn’t see,” Hubbard said of his relationship with Moran.

Hubbard enrolled as a student at JCU for the spring semester of 2008 and played basketball for Coach Moran during the second semester of the 2007-2008 season.

Due to NCAA rules, Hubbard was forced to wait until this season to play football as a Blue Streak.

When asked about his experience thus far with football, Hubbard had nothing but good things to say.

“I’m lovin’ it,” he said.  “I love everything about it and if I didn’t I would not be playing.”

JCU head football coach Regis Scafe expressed his excitement about having Hubbard on his team.

“He [Hubbard] gives us a different dimension,” said Scafe.  “He’s a really good blocker, and I think it gives us a chance to isolate him one-on-one with defensive backs that don’t have his size.”

“Everyone knows he was a Division I player,” said Scafe.  “Hopefully it will draw more players of his caliber,” [to the JCU program].