With Alabama football waiting, Ocean Springs' Brayson Hubbard is out to put up numbers

·3 min read

Ocean Springs standout Brayson Hubbard insists he wasn't nervous as he made the trek to Tuscaloosa in June to fight for an Alabama football offer at a prospect camp.

No matter. His dad, Mark, provided enough nerves for the both of them.

"I was a nervous wreck," Mark said. "I knew it was basically like a tryout."

Brayson Hubbard, calm and collected, made the cut. Alabama football coach Nick Saban offered him a place for the Crimson Tide's 2023 recruiting class as a safety — an unfamiliar position for Hubbard, who plays quarterback for Ocean Springs.

A three-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite, Hubbard comes in at No. 10 on The Clarion Ledger's 2022 Football Dandy Dozen. He's ranked as the No. 475 overall prospect and the No. 77 athlete in his class.

"Alabama recruited me as a guy that would be smart in the back end," Hubbard said. "I’ll basically be a signal caller on the defensive side. They want a guy like me; smart, who knows how offenses work, how quarterbacks are, can learn real quick and can check stuff into the defense to get set up for different things an offense throws at you. That's really what they're using me for."

Ocean Springs coach Blake Pennock will look to work Hubbard in at safety this season at key junctures of the game. First and foremost, though, Pennock said Hubbard will be the Greyhounds' quarterback – and an outstanding one at that.

Hubbard's phenomenal 2021 season lifted the Greyhounds to an 11-win campaign and a trip to the second round of the state tournament for the first time in seven seasons. He posted 2,069 passing yards and 1,258 rushing yards to go along with 52 total touchdowns, according to his Hudl profile.

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In 2022, Hubbard said he plans to push for more.

"I want to achieve above 70 touchdowns," he said. "I had 52 last year, so I want to have around 70. I want to throw for 2,500 yards and run for probably around 2,000, too."

Ocean Springs operates an offense perfectly designed to get the most out of Hubbard's supreme athleticism and football intelligence.

Hubbard is outstanding in zone-read situations, Pennock explained, and his physical gifts allow him to make plays even when the components around him don't function as designed.

Clarion Ledger 2022 Dandy Dozen members include, clockwise from standing left, Bay Springs running back Ty Jones, Raleigh linebacker Suntarine Perkins, Vicksburg defensive lineman Caleb Bryant, Picayune runningback Donte Dowdell, Moss Point edge rusher Jamariuos Brown, Ocean Springs quarterback Bray Hubbard, Itawamba AHS safety Isaac Smith and Laurel offensive lineman Malik Ellis .
Clarion Ledger 2022 Dandy Dozen members include, clockwise from standing left, Bay Springs running back Ty Jones, Raleigh linebacker Suntarine Perkins, Vicksburg defensive lineman Caleb Bryant, Picayune runningback Donte Dowdell, Moss Point edge rusher Jamariuos Brown, Ocean Springs quarterback Bray Hubbard, Itawamba AHS safety Isaac Smith and Laurel offensive lineman Malik Ellis .

"He does a great job with it," Pennock said. "The hardest thing in high school football is to just be perfect as far as your blocking, your receivers getting open, you’re doing all of those different things. Having an athletic quarterback like Bray just helps if things do break down. He’s able to create to go get positive yardage and keep drives going."

Hubbard's athletic ability makes him an asset no matter where you put him on the gridiron – or the diamond, for that matter. The Ocean Springs standout was once a Southern Miss baseball pledge, but, in the end, football won out.

"The opportunity to play in college came in baseball first," Mark said. "I knew deep down in him, if he got a big opportunity like this, I figured he may go that route. He’s a football player. A lot of people don’t know what that means. If you go ask a football coach what a football player is, that’s Bray. He is a football player."

Reach Southern Miss writer David Eckert at deckert@gannett.com or on Twitter @davideckert98.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Alabama bound Brayson Hubbard out to lead Ocean Springs forward