Oxford’s Hubley signs to play football at Kutztown University
● By Steven Hoffman
Ryan Hubley, arguably the best player in the history of the Oxford football program, signed to play for Kutztown University on Feb. 4.
Hubley rewrote Oxford’s record books during a sensational senior season in which he caught 93 passes for 1,483 yards in 10 games. Nineteen of those catches were for touchdowns. He was an All-State selection at wide receiver, and was named to the All-Ches-Mont League squad as a wide receiver and as a free safety.
Hubley was surrounded by his close-knit family and school officials as he signed the letter-of-intent on National Signing Day. While he took time to enjoy the moment, it was just for a moment—another practice beckoned for the hard-working student-athlete. The two-sport star is a key contributor on Oxford's playoff-bound basketball team. The team made it to the state tournament last season.
Mike Pietlock, who coached Hubley during his three years on the varsity football squad, said that he is the kind of player who naturally makes his teammates around him better because he is such a hard worker.
“He gives you his best effort every day,” Pietlock said. “He carries himself in a way that you just hope that the other kids are watching. It's hard to quantify the changes that he made to the football program. He did things the right way all year round, and he made the other kids around him better.”
While Hubley is never the biggest, strongest, or fastest player on the field, he is an elite performer on both sides of the ball. He always seemed to find a way to make plays that impacted the game, whether he was making a tough catch on offense or coming up to play against the run on defense.
“His football IQ is off the charts,” Pietlock said. “Some people just have a certain instinct for the game, and Ryan has it. He has a knack for being at the right place at the right time. He knows what angle to take to get to the ball. He has all those intangibles that make a football player.”
Combine the football instincts with talent and a strong work ethic and you have the makings of a special player.
Hubley finished his Oxford career as the Ches-Mont League’s all-time leader in receptions, and he fell just short of the county record for receiving yards. At six-foot-three, he was a nightmare for the opposing teams' defensive backs, who didn't have the height or reach to stop him from hauling in difficult catches.
On Sept. 19, 2014, Hubley broke the PIAA state record for receiving touchdowns in a game when he hauled in seven touchdowns during a 53-47 win over Kennett. Any good argument that another player could lay claim to being Oxford’s best probably disappeared that night.
What makes Hubley's accomplishments as a wide receiver more impressive is the fact that he is also a standout as a free safety, and has 100-tackle seasons to his credit. He's equally adept at defending passes or coming up to stop the run. He also handled punting duties for the Hornets—and very capably, too.
Oxford’s athletic director, Michael Price, said that while Hubley’s career at Oxford has been filled with highlights, he will probably remember the dazzling seven-touchdown performance against Kennett above all the others.
“I’ll also remember what a great person he is character-wise,” Price said. “He treats everybody well. That’s the kind of person he is.”
Hubley grew up playing football and his older brother, Cody, was also a standout player for the Hornets.
Their grandfather, John Ruger, said that it has been an exciting experience watching from the stands as his grandsons starred for Oxford teams for most of the last decade. Both players got their start and learned the basics of the game with the Oxford Golden Bears youth football program.
Now, Hubley will be joining a Kutztown University Golden Bears football program has been particularly strong in recent years. The team appeared in back-to-back national Division II playoffs in 2010 and 2011, and won the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) title for the first time ever in 2011. Hubley said that he has been talking to head coach Jim Clements regularly to discuss plays that the team runs.
Numerous schools, including some at the Division I level, expressed interest in recruiting Hubley over the last two years, but he said that he knew that Kutztown University would be a good fit for him as soon as he took a tour of the campus.
“When I visited Kutztown, I loved the coaches, the players, and the campus. I knew that was the place for me,” Hubley said.
He added that he will be working on his speed and quickness in preparation for his first season at the collegiate level.
His fans are certainly glad that he will playing close enough to home for them to watch him play in college.
Pietlock said that his parents enjoyed watching Hubley play so much that they are already looking forward to making the trip to Kutztown.
“He is the best football player I've ever coached,” Pietlock said. “Kutztown University is getting a great football player, a great student, and a great kid.”