In his first season playing defensive end last fall, Papillion-La Vista junior Will Hubert enjoyed a very strong season with an eye-popping 20 sacks and 42 tackles for a loss.
Already holding scholarship offers from Buffalo, North Texas, Columbia and Pennsylvania, Hubert is hoping a big spring and summer gets his name on the map even more. Division I schools and athletic programs will return to their regular recruiting calendars beginning June 1.
“My whole month of June is pretty hectic, just with the amount of camps and football stuff I have crammed into every day,” he said. “It’s going to get crazy but I plan on going to as many camps as I can while keeping my schedule with lifting and training the same. Just trying to be the best I can.”
Hubert plans on attending camps at Iowa and Missouri in June. He said he’s also heard from Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Washington State, Kansas State, Wyoming, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, South Dakota State and North Dakota State.
“I would say Nebraska, Northern Illinois and North Dakota State have talked to me the most,” Hubert said. “I’ve talked to Kenny Wilhite and (Nebraska outside linebackers coach) Mike Dawson about once a week, and (Nebraska inside linebackers coach) Coach Ruud a couple times.
“It’s cool because when you think about college coaches it might be scary, but the more you talk with them, they’re just another guy. It’s almost like they’re your neighbor, we just joke around and have a fun conversation.”
Since Covid wiped out recruiting camps last summer, the coming months will be the first time Hubert will compete in them.
“I’m so excited because this will be the first time I’ll really get out and get a taste,” he said. “Where I’ll go out and compete against people I don’t get to compete against. I’ll get a sense for some new competition and see what I can do.”
On top of his weight training at Papillion-La Vista and competing in track, Hubert is doing speed workouts twice a week and works out with a position trainer once a week. He’s increased his bench max to 275 pounds, squat to 435 and hang clean 315.
Working with position trainer Mike Goolsby and his assistant coach Eric Hotz, the 6-foot-4 Hubert has seen his pro-agility time drop to 4.29 seconds. He’s also gained good weight — he played at 228 pounds last fall and is now at 235 and hopes to be in the 240-245 range next season when Papillion-La Vista opens against Papillion-La Vista South on Aug. 28.
Along with his improved strength and speed, Hubert is focusing on his hand and footwork technique this offseason.
“Once I get all of it put together, I’ll be the best athlete I think I can be,” he said. “There’s always going to be someone better than me so that’s why I have to keep working at it and try to get better.”
Papillion-La Vista runs a 3-5 stack alignment on defense, and Hubert will be one of three down linemen.
“My main priority is outside contain, but sometimes they’ll have me stunt and slant inside to try to blow stuff up. I love rushing the passer, that’s my favorite thing. But I’ll also get down and nasty with an offensive tackle and make a play, too.”