Neal Brown’s never-ending quest to add players in “creative” ways continued Monday afternoon, as West Virginia football secured yet another transfer for the program. Former University of Virginia offensive lineman Ja’Quay Hubbard pledged to the Mountaineers, doing so less than three weeks after he initially announced he was entering the transfer portal.
Hubbard is no stranger to WVU recruitniks. Originally from Sharpesville, Pennsylvania, Hubbard was a target for the previous coaching staff in the 2019 recruiting class. He twice came to Morgantown on unofficial visits, but eventually committed to the Cavaliers. When he entered the portal earlier this month, the new staff – led by offensive line coach Matt Moore – reached out and invited him for a virtual visit. That “trip” helped secure his decision, although Hubbard had plenty of reasons for picking WVU.
“I am a fan of the trajectory of the program,” Hubbard said. “I was able to build a swift and certain relationship with coach Moore. The opportunity to compete is great. It’s two hours from home. They have the best strength staff in the country.”
Hubbard played in two games last season, but preserved his redshirt due to the recent four-game redshirt rule change. That means he has four years to play four seasons, but whether or not he will be eligible to play this fall is “to be determined.”
What’s also unclear is if he will play tackle or guard for the Mountaineers. Hubbard received a three-star rating as the nation’s No. 42 offensive tackle out of high school, per 247Sports. West Virginia has a lack of experience at that position heading into 2020. However, he played guard in his limited time at UVA. Hubbard says he could play either position at West Virginia.
With such a late decision, Hubbard says the turnaround will be quick. He plans to be in Morgantown “within the next couple weeks” and will, presumably, have to quarantine as he awaits results from COVID-19 testing before he can begin participating in team activities.