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Alberta’s Chuba Hubbard says rookie NFL year ‘a dream come true’

Click to play video: 'Sherwood Park’s Chuba Hubbard says NFL career a ‘dream come true’' Sherwood Park’s Chuba Hubbard says NFL career a ‘dream come true’
WATCH ABOVE: Sherwood Park’s Chuba Hubbard checks in with Global News Morning Edmonton on his first NFL season with the Carolina Panthers. – Feb 4, 2022

Chuba Hubbard is happy with his first year of play in the NFL. The Edmonton-area born-and-bred running back was drafted to the Carolina Panthers in spring 2021.

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” Hubbard told Global News.

“One thing I believe is everybody has their goals and their dreams as kids, and everybody wants to be the president. Everybody wants to go be the next person on the moon, (et cetera).

“Mine was to go to the NFL. I worked hard and it’s God’s glory I was able to make it.”

Read more: Carolina Panthers take Canadian RB Chuba Hubbard in fourth round of 2021 NFL draft

Hubbard was one of just four Canadians drafted to the NFL as part of the 2021 draft class. He was also the first Canadian running back taken in the NFL draft since Carolina selected Montreal’s Tim Biakabutuka in the opening round in 1996.

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The 22-year-old found himself stepping up to the plate for the team in his first year after the Panthers’ star running back Christian McCaffrey was injured in week 12 of the season.

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7-time Super Bowl champ, NFL superstar Tom Brady announces retirement – Feb 1, 2022

“That’s just the name of football,” he said. “Obviously I was so blessed and fortunate to be in the same running back room as Christian McCaffrey, the best running back in the league.

“It was obviously unfortunate that he got injured, but it gave me an opportunity to prove myself and get comfortable in the league,” he said.

“It was definitely (full of) ups and downs, but I’m happy with my rookie year.”

Hubbard says he will never forget his roots and the support he had in Alberta.

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“Football is just a big part of my life,” he said. “I think people forget, (in) Edmonton and Sherwood Park, the football community is really strong there.

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“All the people that I had around me to get to this point, I felt their support and everything throughout the years.

“Playing football there, in my opinion, I don’t think you can play anywhere else better in Canada. I was definitely glad I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and Sherwood Park.”

Hubbard attended Bev Facey Community High in Sherwood Park, playing for the Falcons football team and becoming recognized during that time as one of Canada’s top football players.

Click to play video: 'Chuba Hubbard’s parents cheer him on from Sherwood park home' Chuba Hubbard’s parents cheer him on from Sherwood park home
Chuba Hubbard’s parents cheer him on from Sherwood park home – Nov 28, 2018

Hubbard attended Oklahoma State University on a dual football and track and field scholarship before he went professional in 2021.

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He said he’s hoping to do some giving back in Alberta as a regular part of his NFL career.

Read more: Edmonton area student Chuba Hubbard signs scholarship with Oklahoma State University

“This is my first off-season. In college, you don’t get an off-season. You’re in school and everything. I have some time off (now).

“I plan on doing a youth camp with a couple guys in the NFL who are from Canada,” Hubbard said.  “I’ve got a lot planned for this summer.”

Click to play video: 'Alberta NCAA football player Chuba Hubbard on COVID-19’s impact' Alberta NCAA football player Chuba Hubbard on COVID-19’s impact
Alberta NCAA football player Chuba Hubbard on COVID-19’s impact – May 6, 2020

–With files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Emily Mertz

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