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Five Thoughts on Chuba Hubbard Returning to Oklahoma State

Let’ goooooooooooooooooo!



The game is over. Chuba Hubbard has announced (improbably?) that he’s returning to Oklahoma State for his redshirt junior season. That’s right, OSU now returns a redshirt sophomore QB with a year of league play under his belt, the best wideout in the conference and the best back in the nation to go with a defense that looked world-class over the last half of the season.

And the maestro of the whole thing will somebody who’s been with them for every snap of their college careers.

Expectations, as you can imagine, are high.

And they should be (for reasons I’ll dive into below). Here are five thoughts I had about Chuba Hubbard’s return, what it means for OSU and why we can look forward to what could be a 2020 to remember. Let’s go.

1. Maybe Gundy Can Recruit

I told Carson this on the podcast, but all of OSU’s resources should have been engaging No. 30 in returning. There’s not a five-star high school player in the country who could have made as big of a difference as Chuba will in 2020 on OSU’s team.

So we can say it was about Chuba not getting as high of a NFL draft grade as he maybe would have liked — and I think there’s truth to that — but you also aren’t coming back unless you like the people in charge and unless those people recruited you well and did a good job during this entire process. Top-shelf recruiting doesn’t always look like we think it does.

2. Best Trio in the League (Nation?)

Here’s where the following players rank at their positions in the Big 12 hierarchy.

Spencer Sanders: No. 4 or 5 QB (depending on how you feel about the other Spencer)
Chuba Hubbard: No. 1 RB
Tylan Wallace: No. 1 WR (depending on how you feel about knees)*

Average: 2 or 2.3. I wonder if there’s another team in the country that can say they have an average conference ranking of 2.0 among their three best offensive players at QB, WR and RB. Maybe not the best group in OSU history but certainly up there among the great trios when all is said and done.

*No returning Big 12 player had more yards than Tylan (who played just nine games).

3. Gundy’s Demise Feels Far Away

Remember that Tech-Baylor one-two punch that felt to some like the beginning of the end? Now it feels like the distance from Enid to Tokyo. What Big 12 school has more momentum going into 2020 compared to what they had at the end of 2019? Not Texas. Not Baylor. Not OU. I think it’s OSU and then a chasm and then everybody else.

This is one of many great things about this stupid sport. Every month can feel like a roller coaster, and some ways every month is a roller coaster. But now I see why Gundy said this following the Texas Bowl.

“I am so excited about the future of Oklahoma State football. I can’t wait to get started. I told the team, I told the seniors, you’ve led these guys to where they are now. We’ll fly home tomorrow, and I’ll probably go to work the next day after tomorrow because I’m so excited about the players we have coming back and where we’re at, the improvements we’ve made in all areas.”

I, too, am so excited about the future of Oklahoma State football.

4. Records Watch

Only two players have gone back-to-back in the 2,000-yard season category — Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin and Troy Davis of Iowa State (who wore the biggest shoulder pads ever made). I don’t expect Chuba to do that because he won’t get as many carries, but his assault on the OSU record book should continue. With 1,500 more yards in 2020, the all-time Oklahoma State rushing records would look like this.

Thurman Thomas: 5,001 yards
Terry Miller: 4,754 yards
Chuba Hubbard: 4,334 yards
David Thompson: 4,318 yards
Kendall Hunter: 4,181 yards
Barry Sanders: 3,797 yards

5. Is It 2011 or 2017?

Three times in the Gundy era, two elite offensive players had NFL decisions to make, and all three times both returned. Blackmon and Weeden in 2011. Mason Rudolph and James Washington in 2017. And now Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard.

That 2011 team had a great returning defense, and nearly won it all. The 2017 version — despite playing maybe the best Bedlam game of all-time — probably disappointed just slightly. This 2020 one will have a really good defense (we think!) at its back and myriad weapons to let Sanders deal. I’ll be serving your Kool-Aid all year because — for once, and maybe the only time in his adult life — Chuba … not gone. Staying. One more year.

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