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Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide-receiver Chase Claypool catches a pass.
Running Back Chuba Hubbard dropped the opening puck between the Edmonton Oilers, and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Rogers Place in Edmonton on December 19, 2019. Shaughn Butts / Postmedia
Returning. In. 2020.
Chuba Hubbard tweeted an Oklahoma State Cowboy’s-produced highlight video Monday afternoon to announce that despite the lure of a potential several million dollars as a signing bonus as a National Football League first-round draft choice, he would not be declaring for the draft.
With a chance to play for a Big 12 title team next year, the Sherwood Park product who led the NCAA in rushing yards would be returning to Stillwater to play his junior season.
“Life is good,” were the only words, in addition to a Canadian flag, on the tweet itself.
Hubbard became the 32nd player in U.S. college football history to top 2,000 yards rushing in a single season when he ran for 128-yards in the Cowboys 24-21 Texas Bowl loss to Texas A & M in the Dec. 27 Texas Bowl in Houston.
That gave the former Bev Facey Falcon 2,094 yards for the season, second only to the legendary Barry Sanders and his record 2,628 in his Heisman Trophy-winning season in 1988.
Hubbard put himself in the Heisman conversation this year.
“There’s a lot that factors into it. I’m going to have to talk to my family, friends and everyone. I need to get all the resources,” said Hubbard before catching his flight home to Sherwood Park following the bowl game.
“These next two weeks are going to be specifically about me working towards making my decision on what I’m going to do. In two weeks you will find out.”
Speculation was that as an expected first-round choice, he’d have a difficult time turning down the money at would be available.
Some recent running backs that were first round draft picks: Ezekiel Elliott signed with the Cowboys for four years for $24.9 million and a $16.3 million signing bonus. Saquon Barkley received $24.9 million from the Giants with a $16.3 million signing bonus. Leonard Fournette signed for $27 million with an $18.5 signing bonus. Christian McCaffery signed for $17.2 million with a $10.7 million signing bonus.
When he was in Edmonton to drop the puck at an Oilers game just prior to Christmas, Hubbard suggested he believed the Cowboys had a chance to do very well this coming season.
“Next year will be an even better team than this year. Obviously this season we’ve had some ups and downs but we’re a really young team,” said 20-year-old Hubbard.
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