By Naji Tobias
PALM BEACH GARDENS – Heart and soul.
These two components are what Dennis Hubbard carries to the gridiron every time he’s ready to play. This inspires him to do what’s necessary to earn the starting running back job for Palm Beach Gardens in the dog days of August.
The Sleeper 50 pick has a special drive that’s instantly recognizable to those who know him well. It powered Hubbard through a nagging lower back pain that eventually forced him to sit out most of his junior season.
Though he only played in two full games last year, the 5’10”, 165-pound running back was able to get the most out of those opportunities, as evidenced by his 350+ yards and 5 touchdowns.
“As you can see, I didn’t play long,” said Hubbard, who has gained interest from Charlotte. “This is why I don’t have any offers right now. But I’ll be in good shape for my senior year.”
Hubbard, who hails from Belle Glade, wants to rush for at least 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns this upcoming season for the Gators. He also wants to help his team make a surprise run to the Class 8A state title game later this fall.
“I want to play my heart out every down,” said Hubbard, who participated in the Alex Wood Satellite Camp at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale yesterday (June 18). “I want all my teammates to make it out successful at the end of our journey.”
Hubbard knows it all starts with him taking advantage of summer workout opportunities. Though he didn’t get many reps in the 1-on-1 and 7-on-7 drills of the Florida A & M individual camp this weekend, the Muck product found other ways to capitalize on the experience.
Hubbard poured his heart out during the shuttle run, in the cone drills and in any other fundamental drills geared toward the sharpening a running back’s awareness, vision, and change of direction.
“I got that work in,” he said. “I got to make a statement from here on out.”
We’ll be checking in with Hubbard as he seeks more camp opportunities in these next few summer weeks. We’ll also follow up on his overall progress from now until the day he signs with a college sometime in 2017.