Saturday, February 7, 2015

Rising star watch: Matthew Hubble

Matthew Hubble of Liberty (Bakersfield) gave the Patriots a physical receiving presence during the 2014 season (photo contributed). 
Colleges have made frequent visits to Liberty High in Bakersfield to check in on who's rising for the Patriots.

Class of 2016 Linebacker Krys Barnes is already a hot commodity with 10 scholarship offers, including pledges from USC, Oregon and Washington of the PAC-12. But could Matthew Hubble also get the same amount of collegiate love?

The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Hubble is worth a look in the Pats' 2016 class. Here's why:

WHAT TO LIKE: Hubble brings a physical identity to LHS's high-octane offense. After the catch, he'll either truck a defender with his shoulder or carry a pack of defenders on his back as he gains more yards. He won't go down on first contact. For a big target, he's got smooth feet and gets out of his breaks well. He's got soft hands and shows tremendous concentration with his catches, especially when facing double coverage. Also plays defense and has a solid nose for the football.

WHAT TO BUILD ON: Defensively, he's come up too high on his tackles and wraps up at the chest area. He has to be consistent with getting lower body leverage on a ball carrier. Offensively, I'll need to see how he does against press man because he's done his damage against zone coverage.

OVERALL: I like Hubble's intangibles on offense because of his physical play. He may not have the height, but his frame and capability to break tackles makes him an intimidating presence to bring down. Liberty has been a good producer of college football talent over the years. Hubble should get plenty of love during this upcoming recruiting season.

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