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Hubbard commits to Tide

It took just two games this season.

Norcross senior Adrian Hubbard, who didn't play his junior season to focus on basketball, joined the Blue Devils' football team during the summer. An unknown commodity in the football recruiting world, he didn't need too much game experience to get colleges interested.

The early-season offers started pouring in for Hubbard, who made a commitment Tuesday to Alabama, the nation's No. 1 team. The athletic defensive end chose the Crimson Tide over South Carolina and Florida State.

"I really like the way I was treated (at Alabama) when I was down there," said Hubbard, who visited Tuscaloosa last weekend. "It just felt good there. It felt comfortable."

Hubbard's stock rose with recruiters after playing just two games, when the Norcross coaches quickly put together a highlight tape and called some of their contacts on the college level. The word spread rapidly about Hubbard, a 6-foot-7, 227-pounder who last played football as a sophomore.

"The reason was he's 6-6, 6-7, 220, 230 and he can run," Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said of the recruiting rush on Hubbard since September. "Everybody saw his potential and you could put some good (highlights) together on him because he's very athletic and he rushed the passer so well."

In just a few weeks, Hubbard started piling up offers from some of the South's top football programs. Later in the season, he got an invitation to the Jan. 2 Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando.

It's all quite a whirlwind for Hubbard, who also had some college options in basketball after averaging 10.3 points and 9.8 rebounds for the Blue Devils last season. But his height in basketball is average. In football, it's rare.

Teams had trouble blocking him all season as he had 94 tackles (a whopping 27 for for losses) and seven sacks.

"It could have been either (basketball or football) for college, but in football I had more chances," said Hubbard, who started his career at Peachtree Ridge before transferring. "I just like football more now. I just decided to play football."

He's not quite through with basketball though. He said he hopes to lead Norcross to a state basketball championship this season, then may consider basketball at Alabama.

"I met some of the basketball coaches on my visit and they said I could play for them when I got there," Hubbard said. "We'll see what happens when I get down there. Right now, I'm just focusing on being a football player."

Just six months ago, Hubbard wasn't even a football player at Norcross. Now he is headed to play for the newly-crowned SEC champions.

"He asked if he could come out his senior year, and he's done everything we've asked him to do," Maloof said. "He played hard. He worked hard. Now he's getting the attention he deserves."