The Buckeyes' 2014 recruiting class is filling up with top talent from across the country, but the staff is keeping the state of Ohio's best talent at home as well. Five of the top eleven players from the Buckeye State have committed to Urban Meyer with a strong possibility of landing Ohio's number two ranked player in Marshon Lattimore and his teammate Erick Smith.
Sam Hubbard, who plays for Archbishop Moeller out of Cincinnati, Ohio, was the sixth recruit to commit to the Ohio State staff, choosing the Buckeyes over teams like Miami (FL), Michigan, Stanford and a few others. Hubbard, who previously was committed to The University of Notre Dame for lacrosse, had a huge state title game and caught some coaches eyes in the process. Offers started rolling in for the 6-6 junior. Then on March 21st, the Buckeyes made their move after Hubbard visited campus a few weeks earlier. Hubbard would go on to commit to the Buckeyes on the fifth of April, and the rest is history. Last season as a junior, Hubbard racked up 80 tackles, two interceptions and forced two fumbles while helping lead the Crusaders to their eight state title (and their first in 27 years).
I was able to catch up with Sam Hubbard recently to ask a few question about what the future might hold.
The Buckeyes are full of history and tradition. What is it like to be an Ohio State commit and have the opportunity to wear the scarlet and gray in 2014?
There is a lot of tradition at Moeller High School as well. It really gives you a sense of purpose when we play because you do it for all those who came before you. I am excited to be a part of a team that has even more tradition and to do it for the team. It's a lot of expectations, but I wouldn't want it any other way.
Past or present, who in college football do you compare yourself to? And who would you say you model your game after?
It's tough to pick, because I am playing a different position, and don't know where I'll be at the next level right now. One of my favorite players is A.J. Hawk. My head coach had the chance to coach him at a high school all-star game and said he was one of the most respectful and well rounded players he's ever met.
Being one of the top lacrosse players in the midwest and a Notre Dame commit at one point, how hard is it going to be to hang up the lacrosse pads for a Buckeye football?
It will be tough, for sure, but I will be able to focus on one sport this time and really improve my game. In the end it is definitely worth it.
How is Urban Meyer's and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff recruiting pitch different than the other programs who recruited you?
They are recruiting winners, leaders and people with like mentalities. Most of the commits are state champions and incredibly intense competitors. This staff genuinely cares for the players and teaches them to win in every aspect of their lives. They really go out of their way to get to know the rest of your family, and I really liked that.
Are you in contact with any of the uncommitted targets and who some guys you hope join the Dream 14?
I talked with Noah Brown [before his commitment] this past weekend as well as a few others.
Growing up, who would you say was your role model and what about them stuck out to you?
I really found a role model in my grandfather. He was from humble beginnings and worked his was through high school before earning a scholarship to Xavier University. He is one of the most driven and dedicated men I have ever met and I am lucky he only lives a few blocks away.
What Ohio State games do you plan on attending this fall and when do you plan on taking your official visit?
I went to the Buffalo game and sat with 2015 recruit Justin Hilliard, which was awesome. It's week-by-week to decide when I can, depending on my football schedule. I'm not sure about my official visit yet, but it would be during the basketball season.
What is life off the field like for you? What are some of your academic interests and what are you looking to study at Ohio State?
I take all AP classes and I am an honor student, plus the vice president of my class. My family takes academics very seriously and at Ohio State I am deciding between business or trying to do something in the medical field.
Coach Meyer is not afraid to play freshmen if you are good enough. How do you see yourself making an impact for the Buckeyes next year?
I am going to work everyday so I can make my dreams a reality. If it's not on defense right away, I will be more than happy to do some work on the special teams unit. I'll do anything I can to make an impact as a freshman for the Buckeyes.
What would you like to say to all the Ohio State fans and everyone out there reading this?
I hope they are as excited as we are for our 2014 class to get on campus. We want to win a national championship for Buckeye Nation. I am 100% Buckeye and I'm excited about the next four year.
Urban Meyer? Leadership
40 time? 4.61 at Ohio State's summer camp
Linebacker or safety? Either. Both, if that's possible. *Laughs*
Early enrollment? Not allowed by my school. I'll enroll in the summer.
Michigan? (Ed. note -- Hubbard literally hung up the phone, then waited a second before calling back and informing us he was just kidding.) They will lose
Below are some of Sam Hubbard s highlights from his junior season.
We want to thank Sam for taking the time and speaking with us. We wish him nothing but the best during his senior season. You will be able to see how Sam is doing with the rest of the 2014 commits every Sunday when LGHL's Austin Kemp runs down all of the The Dream 14's high school action in our "Runnin' down The Dream".