Running under the Radar

28 Sep

Voters did not elect John Hubert to the Preseason Big 12 roster, and he did not pique fan interest in nearly the same capacity as a certain Tennessee transfer. Yet, three games into the 2011 season, Hubert has quietly earned the starting role in the Wildcats’ rushing offense.

What exactly gives the 5-feet-7-inch, 185-pound Hubert the advantage over teammates Angelo Pease, Robert Rose and Bryce Brown?

Coach Bill Snyder declines to be overly specific about that, but he did speak to how Hubert’s height serves to help him as a running back.

“He’s a little bit bigger lower body than he is upper body; he’s got good leg strength,” Snyder said. “When he is low, he can gain a leverage advantage. It’s kind of like when offensive and defensive linemen react to each other: low pads wins. That’s the common terminology, and that’s kind of true in everything. You have better leverage and therefore greater strength if you play a little bit lower, and it’s easy for him to play low. I think that’s the strength advantage he has.”

Against Miami, Hubert ran for 166 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. He busted one run for 47 yards and averaged 9.2 yards per run in the game.

With all the talk about Bryce Brown and why he hasn’t had playing time, or even whether he will stay or go, Hubert competes in relative anonymity, with little fuss or fanfare surrounding his impressive play. If he continues that way, it doesn’t seem like Brown or anyone else will be taking over anytime soon.

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