Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard eager to start the season for Buckeyes

COLUMBUS -- Sam Hubbard could’ve declared for the NFL Draft this spring, but the Ohio State defensive end is glad he’s returning to Columbus.

And so is Buckeye Nation.

“Yeah I definitely thought about it and weighed my options,” Hubbard told WCPO.com earlier this month. “I talked to my family and coaches. It was definitely in my best interest to come back and get my degree. I will be graduating in December.”

Hubbard, a fourth-year junior, will receive his finance degree in December.

The 2014 Moeller High School graduate is already a veteran of 26 games at Ohio State including 14 starts at defensive end. He ranks second on the current team in career tackles-for-loss (16 for 86 yards) and sacks (10). He has 74 career tackles.

On Monday, he was named one of nine captains for the Buckeyes. 

“I’m very excited,” Hubbard said. “A lot of work has been put into this offseason.”

He’s worked on his upper and lower body strength. He’s improved his pass rushing moves. But Hubbard is equally proud of his academic honors.

“Getting his finance degree -- that’s pretty huge,” Moeller coach John Rodenberg said.

Hubbard, who has a 3.5 grade-point average entering the fall semester, became the 30th first-team Academic All-American for the Ohio State football program.

He spent time with JPMorgan Chase in Columbus this past spring. He spent a week at Goldman Sachs in New York City in 2016.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says Hubbard’s resume speaks for itself.

"In recruiting all you have to say is, 'Sam Hubbard,' and by the way look at this, a 3.0-point plus GPA,” Meyer told reporters at Big Ten media day. “He's interned at Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase and he happens to be one of the top linemen in American. That's all a plus."

While the Buckeyes have a highly touted defensive line entering the season opener at Indiana Aug. 31, Hubbard says he and his teammates remind themselves they haven’t proven anything yet.

That mentality is a consistent theme for Hubbard, a former standout at Moeller. He likes to return home when he can and keeps in contact with the staff at Moeller.

He enjoys working out in the Moeller weight room with Rodenberg at random breaks throughout the calendar year. A simple text message notifies Rodenberg if Hubbard is in town.

“That’s still my guy,” Hubbard said. “He’s still Hurricane Rody.”

Rodenberg had little doubt his former standout would succeed given how he carried himself throughout high school.

“He has the height, speed and size,” Rodenberg said. “Sam has also the heart and desire.”

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