Hubner kicks nervousness at combine

BY foxsports • February 22, 2013

Feb. 22, 2013

Josh Hubner thought he was prepared for the pressure cooker of the NFL
Scouting Combine. But it was the volume, or lack thereof, that threw him
temporarily off his game Friday.

“Nerve-wracking
would be the first word I’d use to describe it,” said the former ASU
punter, who was one of seven
punters
invited to the combine this week and next
week in Indianapolis. “I’m so used to kicking in front of 50,000 or
60,000 screaming people, then I go out in front of a couple hundred guys
just sitting there, dead quiet, watching me. I think I let my nerves
get the better of me.”

In the first punting exercise
of the day – two sets of four punts down the middle of the field to test
leg strength – Hubner said he wasn’t at his best.  But once
the format turned to directional kicking, a staple in today’s NFL,
Hubner was back on the game ASU fans saw with regularity last
season.

Hubner had three punts to the left and three
to the right, dropping all six inside the desired box marked on the
field. He said he had a couple balls around 5.1 and 5.2 seconds of hang
time, with most around 4.7 and 4.8.

“I could have
had a better day booming the ball, but I know what I can do,” he said.
“And I think I showed enough of that today.”

Hubner
finished second in the FBS among punters with a 47.1-yard average on 52
punts last season. He also dropped an astounding 20 punts inside the
opponents' 20-yard line. On the advice of ASU coach Todd Graham, Hubner
transitioned from a three-step punter to a two-step punter to improve
his NFL stock.

He said he has talked to seven NFL
teams already at the combine – the Cardinals, Vikings, Lions, Browns,
Raiders, Titans and Texans – with the first three all expressing
interest in having him in for a private workout after ASU’s pro day on
March 8.

Like other players, Hubner also took the
Wunderlic test and was one of two punters to participate in the bench
press, hitting 13 reps.

“They asked a lot of
questions about my athleticism,” said Hubner, who was lauded for that
attribute by his ASU teammates. “I hope it matters at my position.”


Hubner is one of three Sun Devils at the combine.
Linebacker Brandon Magee will work out next week, and safety Keelan
Johnson also is in attendance.

Hubner arrived in Indy
on Tuesday and has spent most of his time “catching up on movies I
haven’t seen in the hotel room.” He planned to explore downtown Indy on
Friday night before heading home and preparing for his pro
day.

-- Craig Morgan


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