Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy announced running back Chuba Hubbard will sit out the remainder of his junior year, including Saturday's regular-season finale against Baylor, and declare for the 2021 NFL draft.
"Chuba's not gonna play," Gundy said on the pregame radio show, per Marshall Scott of Pistols Firing. "Chuba's chosen to go to the NFL."
Hubbard was one of the nation's top running backs in 2019. He rushed for an FBS-leading 2,094 yards on 328 carries (6.4 YPC) with 21 touchdowns in 13 games. He was voted Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year.
The 21-year-old Canadian hasn't matched that efficiency this season. He's rushed for 625 yards on 133 attempts (4.7 YPC) and posted five scores in seven contests. He's also added one receiving TD.
His statistical drop-off came after he expressed optimism entering the year about his physical condition.
"I feel great. I'm bigger, stronger, faster," Hubbard told Robert Allen of Sports Illustrated in September. "I fixed a lot of things that I need to work on. I feel good going into the season."
He's dealt with a leg injury throughout the year, though.
Hubbard could have returned to the Cowboys for his senior year with hope that a bounce-back could have allowed him to regain his top-prospect status. It would have come with risk, though, since another lackluster campaign would have further affected his stock.
It's now unlikely he'll land within the NFL draft's first two rounds, though that could change again should he stand out at the NFL Scouting Combine and throughout the predraft process, assuming those events resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.
His gaudy 2019 numbers could still make him an intriguing middle-round selection next spring, though.