Sam Hubbard, Titanium Elite (2014) and Archbishop Moeller High School standout midfielder, announced his commitment to one of the best schools in the country: The University of Notre Dame. A 17 year old Junior, Sam was born and raised just outside Cincinnati, OH. He is an honor roll student, a top Midwest lacrosse recruit, and a force to be reckoned with on the football field.
In fourth grade, Hubbard picked up a lacrosse stick for the first time – only a year after he started playing football. This fall he lead Archbishop Moeller to a 2012 Ohio State Championship victory, a game that is still fresh in his mind. He caught the attention of several college football coaches – from programs like Northwestern, Boston College, Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan – who all actively pursued Hubbard with potential football scholarship offers. They were surprised (and disappointed) to find out he had already committed to play lacrosse for the Fighting Irish.
When asked if he would consider playing both football and lacrosse for Notre Dame, Sam admitted that he has explored the possibility, but has had a hard time reaching the Notre Dame football staff this week. (Maybe that’s because the morning we talked with Sam was January 7th; the same day Notre Dame football was set to play in the BCS title game.)
Having two uncles who excelled in the NCAA (Michigan Basketball and Notre Dame Football), Sam clearly has the genes to play college athletics; however, playing multiple sports at The University of Notre Dame is something very few athletes could even consider – let alone actually do. Sam points to three key factors in deciding whether or not he will be a dual sport athlete at ND: first, if the football coaching staff is interested in him; second, if the lacrosse coaching staff is supportive of the decision; and most importantly, he would only do so if he could continue to excel in the classroom.
Follow Sam’s Journey on Twitter:
The University of Notre Dame:
For anyone who has lived under a rock for the last 200 years: Notre Dame is an independent, Catholic research university located adjacent to the city of South Bend, Indiana, in a metropolitan area of more than 300,000 residents, approximately 90 miles east of Chicago.
Seventy percent of Notre Dame’s incoming freshman came from the top five percent of their high school graduating class so it’s no wonder why this undergraduate business school is ranked first among all business schools in the United States (according to Bloomburg BusinessWeek). With discoveries like the aerodynamics of glider flight, the transmission of wireless messages, and the formula for synthetic rubber all originating in Notre Dame’s research facilities, the school has become intertwined with some of our country’s most historical milestones.
Fighting Irish Lacrosse:
Aside from its highly acclaimed track record in academics, Notre Dame is known for fielding some of the most competitive athletic teams in the NCAA over the last century. As of 2010, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have claimed a total of 26 NCAA National Championships since the formation of their athletic department.
Notre Dame’s Lacrosse team is no exception to this model of excellence and have established themselves as a division one lacrosse powerhouse. The Fighting Irish Men’s Lacrosse team joined the NCAA in 1981 and has maintained an impressive 100% graduation rate ever since. Coached by Kevin Corrigan the team has an impressive .677 winning record (since 1989) and play their home games at Arlotta Stadium (capacity: 2,000). With 22 Conference Championships, 17 NCAA tournament appearances and 4 final four appearances, the ND Mens Lacrosse team is both respected and feared by many in the lacrosse world.
HUBBARD = GREEN
TITANIUM = BLUE
What do you want to study in college?
– I’m pretty sure I want to study business. My cousin just graduated from ND with a business degree and now he has a really cool job out in NYC. I’d like to follow in his footsteps and I think if I major in business I could make that happen.
What will you miss the most about High School?
– Moeller is a really close-knit family and I’m going to miss that sense of community. When I go to ND and then visit home, I’ll still go to workouts and see everyone, but I’ll definitely still miss the close-ness that this community has.
What is your best memory with Titanium?
– Tryouts down in Dublin Jerome were a blast. We had all of the best players from the Midwest together in the hotel so that was really fun. Playing for Titanium Elite last year was a great experience – I love those guys. I played up with the 2013 team in the championship game at King of the Hill – and there were a ton of college coaches there- so it was awesome for all of the guys who weren’t committed yet. I look forward to seeing the 2014 guys this summer too, and I can’t wait to play with them again. Coach Kelly is awesome. I really like playing for him.
What do you look forward to the most about college?
– I’m looking forward to playing lacrosse at a much higher level. I also love the coaches and the team and can’t wait to spend every day with them. I think I’ve met almost every commit already and they’re all really cool. I stayed with Kyle Borbi from Shawnee, NJand Tyler Ruhl from Gilman, MD during the football game against Michigan and it was awesome, I look forward to spending four years with those guys. My player host when I visited was Will Corrigan who’s great too. Notre Dame is just a very special place and I can’t wait to be a part of that community.
Walk us through the recruiting process. Which factors played a role in making your decision?
– So I wasn’t a big part of my varsity program my freshman season because I had just grown 4 inches and was awkwardly lanky. The following summer, I started getting a better feel for playing lacrosse with my new size. I got invited to top 205 where I played really well and made the all-star game. A few days later, I received my first letter from UNC and I scheduled a visit. Then I started hearing from more and more coaches, so I made a highlight video to send out. I visited UNC, Duke and Notre Dame. I was at Notre Dame during a football game against Stanford, and I fell in love with the school and the lacrosse program. I called the coaches a few weeks later, and they gave me an offer so I pretty much committed right away.
As for the factors that played a part in my decision, I felt like the coaches were adamant about wanting a big athletic midfielder and they made me feel like that’s where I would fit in. I felt like they were genuinely interested in me and that really meant a lot. I’ve also been up there a bunch of times and love the campus – the tight-knit community of Notre Dame reminds me of how I feel at home.
It was the perfect mix of a bunch of things: I have family who went there; their academics are outstanding; the lacrosse team has had some really great seasons recently; and then I started seeing some big names commit which made me excited. We have an outstanding recruiting class coming in, so I see us doing big things in years to come.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next 7 years?
– First I want to finish out my high school career strong by winning a championship in lacrosse and another in football next year. Then I’d like to compete for playing time right away my freshman year while excelling in the classroom. Finally, I think an ACC Championship and a NCAA National Championship are definitely in the cards before I graduate.
Hm… that’s interesting because Hayes McGinley (Syracuse) and Tucker Gillman (Georgetown) both seem to think that they too will be winning national championships in college… What do you have to say to that?
– That’s awesome! We play both of them every year – and I can’t wait to see those guys on the field at the next level… I’ll just say that I like our chances, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see how this one plays out.
Thanks for hangin’ with us Sam, we wish you and the Fighting Irish the best of luck. Is there anyone you’d like to thank before you go?
– My family, Coach Auld, Coach Reed (Moeller’s head coach), the Notre Dame coaching staff, my head football coach; my Titanium coaches for helping me improve the things I’ll need to compete at the next level; coach Ames from Dublin Jerome; and every other coach who helped guide me through this process.