By Josh Brown
Miami Valley Today
TROY — For Troy’s Riley Hubbard, college isn’t just the next step in his education or football career.
It will also be a family reunion of sorts.
“It felt just like home to me, and it felt like the right choice, to play with my brother one last time,” Hubbard said.
Troy’s senior center signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his football career at Wilmington College during a ceremony Wednesday at the Trojan Activities Center, where he will join older brother and 2018 Troy High School graduate Logan Hubbard on the Quakers’ football team.
The Hubbard brothers last played together during Logan’s senior football season in 2017, when Riley was a sophomore. Logan, who played in six games as a freshman at Wilmington, will be a junior this fall, giving he and Riley two more seasons together as Quakers.
“It’s a crazy feeling. It’s outstanding,” Riley said. “I’m thankful for it, and it’s a pleasure. I wouldn’t have gotten here without all of the coaches I’ve had in the past. I’m thankful for it, and hard work really does pay off.”
For Riley, who plans on studying criminal justice, playing with his brother wasn’t the only thing that NCAA Division III Wilmington had going for it.
“The atmosphere, the team, I like the school — everything about it, really,” Hubbard said. “The coaches are great, the team is great. Everything about the school is awesome. Bluffton was an option, too, and Thomas More, and Urbana, but Wilmington just felt like home.”
Riley, Troy’s six-foot, 254-pound center, helped lead the Trojans to an 8-3 record during his senior season, as well as a fourth straight division title and a fourth straight playoff appearance.
“I was just talking to his parents, and I told them between Riley and Logan, we’re going to miss having a Hubbard to coach,” Troy football coach Dan Gress said. “Riley might be one of the most consistent and hardest workers to come through this program. In the weight room, practice, games, you knew you were getting his best effort no matter what it was. And he did an absolutely tremendous job for us.
“He executed his assignment no matter who we were facing, no matter the talent level we were going up against, he got his job done every game.”
Riley and his offensive line were key to everything the Trojans did this year, too, as the team was first in the Miami Valley League in overall offense and second in rushing offense, with the program’s first ever quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards and two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season for the first time since 2000. Riley was also named second-team All-Southwest District as an offensive lineman.
And Gress knows that he will be able to carry all of that with him to the next level.
“They say the center has to be the anchor of the offensive line, and he truly was our anchor,” Gress said. “Our line went how they did because of Riley. He was the leader of that group, and it showed on the field how consistent and solid that group was because of Riley. He led them through everything.
“He’s a program guy, too, the type of player you look to build your program around. It’s because of guys like him that Troy football is what it is.”
Contact Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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