Ohio State hosted more than 900 prospects for its one-day summer camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Saturday, few more notable than four-star running back Darvon Hubbard.
“It feels good to be home,” Hubbard told Eleven Warriors and other reporters gathered after the camp.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Hubbard burst onto the recruiting scene as a freshman at Akron Buchtel, but moved to Arizona prior to the start of his sophomore year for family reasons. He proceeded to rush for 503 yards and seven touchdowns at Scottsdale Chaparral, where he shares a backfield with four-star quarterback target Jack Miller III.
“We’re like best friends. I could call him now and he’d pick up. We’ve just got a very good connection,” Hubbard said, which certainly bodes well for the Buckeyes’ chances with both prospects moving forward. “The guys down there are a lot quicker than they are up here, so I’ve gotten a lot faster, a lot stronger and learned to use my body more, too.”
Hubbard views himself as an Ohioan through and through, which is likely a big reason why the staff hasn’t extended a scholarship offer just yet. Ohio State has offered 14 other running backs in the Class of 2020, but only three total in-state prospects — Akron Archbishop Hoban athlete DeaMonte Trayanum, Cincinnati St. Xavier offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. and Cincinnati Princeton defensive end Darrion Henry — by comparison.
Hubbard’s list of offers includes Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Minnesota and Nebraska, suggesting he’d probably have one from the Buckeyes, too, if he were originally from Arizona — or any other state, for that matter.
It’s shaping up to be a big week for the 16-year-old Hubbard, who will attend Michigan and Michigan State’s camps on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, before returning to campus with Miller for Ohio State's annual Friday Night Lights recruiting extravaganza on June 22. All three schools could — and should — offer.
“[Running backs coach Tony Alford] told me I was very, very close to one today. Hopefully I get that soon,” Hubbard said. “It would be a huge offer for me. Knowing some guys who went here — I talked to [H-Back] Parris Campbell today, me and him are very close. It’s very cool. I grew up watching this team.”
Hubbard went through group drills and received individual instruction from Alford on Saturday, with the Ohio State assistant handing out some valuable tips in terms of pass protection and other areas for improvement.
“He’s always helped me with valuable tools like that,” Hubbard said, noting the two have been building a relationship since the eighth grade. “He knows how I operate and how to talk to me as a person. We have a very good connection. I know how he talks and how to understand him. We just have a real special connection.”
Following the camp, Hubbard and his family met with head coach Urban Meyer, who once again reiterated that staff was going to turn up the heat in his recruitment sooner rather than later. Don’t expect a quick commitment, though, as Hubbard doesn’t anticipate he'll make a decision until sometime during his senior season.
“I’m just going to ride out this process,” Hubbard said. “I’m focused on winning a state championship with my team, so I’ll take care of this my senior year.”