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First game nerves hit even the best of OSU football players


Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard charges forward during the Oklahoma State vs. Oregon State football game on Friday, August 30, 2019, at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon.

You walk down the dark tunnel and the sound of the roaring crowd outside creeps up with every step.

You hear the unfamiliar sound of Kurt Russell's character in "Tombstone" yell "you tell em' I'm coming! And hell's coming with me, you hear? Hell's coming with me!"

It's your first time donning America's brightest orange on the field at Boone Pickens Stadium.

You are a freshman on the Oklahoma State football team and your nerves are at an all-time high.

Everyone has nerves once in awhile. Usually, it has to do with "firsts" in life. First date, first day of college, first day of work, at some point, you're going to feel nervous.

Football players feel those nerves as well. 

Redshirt freshman Bryce Bray, who played in his first game last week against Oregon State, said his nerves will continue into OSU's home opener against McNeese State on Saturday. 

"The first home game will definitely be nerve racking for sure because you got all your friends here your family her," Bray said. "It will be a little more nerve racking just cause you have so many people that know you."  

Bray said that one player stood out in making sure his nerves were calmed: Chuba Hubbard. 

Hubbard, a redshirt sophomore, has been one of coach Mike Gundy's vocal leaders this season. The running back from Edmonton, Alberta, seems to take the nerves out of almost every player. 

"He's a great leader," Bray said. "Absolutely hands down one of the best leaders we have on this team. He takes that into his own hands in being able to lead each one of us."

Last week before OSU's game against Oregon State, Hubbard sat Spencer Sanders down to calm the quarterback's nerves ahead of his first-career start. Sanders said he had butterflies in his stomach prior to the game, but Hubbard kept talking to him and calming him down. 

One of the most important things to Hubbard as a leader on the team is making sure the players are calm and collective.

"I just try to talk to all my guys and make sure they're ready," Hubbard said. "Everyone has jitters, especially the first game of the season no matter if you're a senior or junior or whatever. 

Whether it's your first game in a Cowboy uniform or last time gearing up for a home opener, if you have pregame nerves, Hubbard can quiet them down quickly.

"I just want to make sure everyone was good and know we're on the same page that you know let's just come out there strong," Hubbard said.