- GWUSports.com—Official Web Site of Gardner-Webb Athletics
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CHARLOTTE - Gardner-Webb freshman J.J. Hubbard was named Big South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week Monday afternoon by the league office.

Hubbard (Tampa, Fla. / Robinson HS) provided a major spark in Gardner-Webb's near comeback at VMI, taking a fourth quarter kickoff back 79 yards for a touchdown that trimmed the Keydets' lead to 14 points. The Runnin' Bulldogs rode that momentum to another quick touchdown after an onside kick to trim the lead to 31-24.

The 5-foot-8, 180-pound running back is the first freshman in Big South Conference history to return a kickoff for a touchdown. Hubbard led Gardner-Webb in kickoff return average in 2011, posting 19.8 yards per return on just 11 attempts in seven games played. Saturday's kickoff return was Hubbard's lone attempt of the game.

Hubbard ranked fifth on the team in rushing as a true freshman, carrying 16 times for 64 yards in limited duty at the position.

He earned Class 2A All-State honors and was runner up for Florida Class 2A Mr. Football honors in 2010 as a senior at Tampa (Fla.) Robinson. Hubbard rushed for 1,447 yards and 27 touchdowns as a senior, ranking as one of the top running backs in the Tampa area.

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