STILLWATER -- It was exactly what Oklahoma State fans wanted to read, and it was Chuba Hubbard's decision as the speedster and stronger than anyone expected running back from Canada certainly earned the right to make that call. In the end his call was to come back and improve his NFL stock and contribute to what could be an historic season at Oklahoma State.
Hubbard was conflicted by so many contributions. His parents, Candace Hubbard and Lester Yearwood had both expressed the desire for him to come back to Stillwater, play one more season, get his degree in December, and then go on to the NFL. Hubbard also had to weigh opinions of others he trusts, the NFL Draft grade that the league provided him before the Cowboys bowl game (speculated to be somewhere between 3rd and 4th rounds), and the thoughts of others who had to make the same decision, including former teammate and Baltimore Ravens running back Justice Hill and wide receiver Tylan Wallace, who after an injury this season made the decision to come back to the Cowboys. There is no doubt that the lure of coming back to play with teammates he cares about and for what potentially could be a really strong season was a big part of his decision. Perhaps, it was the part that caused him pause and eventually led him to this decision.
There was a precursor to Hubbard's decision that led one to believe he would go to the NFL. While he posted a message on Twitter that simply read 5 p.m., on his Instagram was a message that showed Hubbard in front of a sleek car from Genesis of Edmonton (Canada). The top of the obvious advertisement reads, "Best in the Business".
That was taken off Hubbard's Instagram account in less than a minute and the same on the account from Genesis of Edmonton. It was obvious that Hubbard, always squared away, knew the ad, whether he received anything for it, could cause problems. It was taken off virtually immediately.
Also, a source informed Pokes Report that Hubbard did come into Stillwater before his decision and spoke with head coach Mike Gundy. He may actually be in Stillwater right now. You have to recognize that Hubbard took a long time to do this, but it appears he did it the right way all along and kept his coaches in the loop.
Now, he has a new offensive coordinator in Kasey Dunn, who he has worked with quite a bit voluntarily on improving his play in the passing game and as a pass catcher.
Hubbard in just one and half way too short seasons on the field has left an indelible mark on Oklahoma State football as one of the best running backs in history at a school that is known for producing great runners. Now, he enters next season with a chance to really put himself in a special class of the tradition of Cowboys running backs.
He had a phenomenal red-shirt sophomore season this past year, a season that Cowboy fans will remember for a long time. He finished the season with 2,094 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, as well as 2,334 all-purpose yards. With those numbers, he led the nation in rushing yards, yards-per-game at 161.1, all-purpose yards and was tied for third in rushing touchdowns.
His 2,094 rushing yards was the second-highest rushing total in Oklahoma State history, second only to the greatest college running back of all-time, Barry Sanders.
Because of his season, he was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, as well as a unanimous All-American, a Walter Camp Player of the Year finalist, as well as one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award. Awards, including the Heisman Trophy as well where he finished seventh in the voting, that he will be a favorite to win in 2020.
Everyone got a glimpse of how good he could be towards the end of his red-shirt freshman season. He finished the 2018 season with 124 carries for 740 yards and seven touchdowns, with 425 yards and five touchdowns coming in the final four games of the season in which he got the start.