By Conrad Clowers
Cincinnati Herald Contributor
The NFL is starting to become well infiltrated by Greater Cincinnati League players. Luke Keuchly from St. Xavier is likely the biggest name player out of Cincinnati. Kuechly, who stars for the Carolina Panthers, is arguably the best linebacker in the NFL. Kyle Rudolph is a standout tight end for the Minnesota Vikings. Rudolph got to wear that same purple years earlier when he was a star tight end with the Elder Panthers. The only negative on Rudolph and Kuechly is neither play in Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Bengals now get a taste of one of their own hometown stars. The last time the legendary Moeller Crusaders won the state championship in football in 2013, Sam Hubbard was part of the team. Hubbard was a standout safety for the Crusaders and a big-time college recruit. He went on to star at Ohio State. The Bengals saw Hubbard’s ability to put pressure on the quarterback and selected the homegrown star as their third pick in this year’s NFL draft this past April.
Hubbard has seen action in the Bengals first two playoff games. He recorded his first NFL sack this past weekend in a matchup against the Dallas Cowboys. The former Crusader has star potential written all over him.
It almost seemed like the Bengals stayed away from taking chances on Ohio State players for a long time. The team drafted Dan ‘Big Daddy’ Wilkerson as the number one back in the early 90’s from Ohio State. Wilkerson had a less then stellar career for the Bengals before he moved on. It would be two decades before the Bengals would take a chance on drafting Buckeyes high in the draft again. Along with Hubbard going number three, the team selected Billy Price, number one. Hubbard currently is listed as the second team defensive end behind Carlos Dunlap.
Hubbard joins a talented list of young, hungry players such as Carl Lawson and Jordan Willis, who have a talent for getting to the quarterback.
It’s been a long time since an Ohio State Buckeye was drafted by the Bengals and had a solid career. It has been even longer since a player that played football in the Tri-State ended up playing for the Bengals. Hubbard has a chance to be the first to knock down both feats in ages.
Bengal new defensive coordinator Teryl Austin vows to bring an aggressive style of take-away football for the defense this season. Hubbard showed he could do both things while with Ohio State. Given the opportunity, the Bengals may have the making of another star.