Derek Hubbard is 5 feet 6 and his height is not going to drastically change so the Avondale (Ariz.) La Joya Community all-purpose back has to find something else that makes him attractive to college coaches.
He thinks it could be his special combination of speed and versatility.
"That's really a big factor when it comes to motivating me," Hubbard said at the Rivals.com Arizona Five-Star Academy last weekend. When it comes to colleges that's all they look at with me.
"They look at my film and say I'm good and shifty but I'm small. I take that as big motivation to get better and just to prove people wrong. Size doesn't matter as long as you produce on the field. All I can do on the field is show people I may be smaller but I'm better than the rest of the competition out there."
Numerous colleges have taken notice to Hubbard, who finished with 1,173 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 150 carries in his junior season. He also caught nine passes for 65 yards and one score. Hubbard was one of the top performers last spring on the National Underclassmen Combine circuit.
"I excel getting out in space, maybe as a slot receiver or a running back who's taking a lot of passes out of the backfield," Hubbard said. "I can run in between the tackles too but mostly I try to get outside and create space between me and the defense. I try to beat everybody else on the field and use my speed to make people miss."
Hubbard, who lists a 4.4-second 40-yard dash time and a 4.12 in the shuttle, said Colorado, Florida State, Notre Dame, Stanford, Kansas and Kansas State are the main schools recruiting him. Others have been sending mail as well.
No schools have offered yet and that's why Hubbard said this spring and summer is so important so he can get out to combines and team camps to show coaches what he can bring to their program. He might be undersized but there's a good chance Hubbard can produce on the college level as a running back or slot receiver.
He wants to prove it before his senior season starts.
"That's a big factor," said Hubbard, who could also be used on special teams. "I'm trying to get out to a lot of camps for a lot of different colleges. It's just trying to get the fees paid. I'm trying to get seen by as many schools as I can."