Jonathan Hubbard will open the 2020 NFL season on the Miami Dolphins’ practice squad.
The undrafted free agent offensive lineman was assigned to the team’s developmental group Monday after the Dolphins made their final cuts to reach the NFL-mandated roster limit of 53.
Hubbard was one of three former Northwestern State player who were part of late preseason roster cuts across three franchises. Wide receiver Bryant Mitchell (Tampa Bay) and offensive lineman Pace Murphy (Dallas) also were part of the roster squeeze in an unusual preseason that featured no games because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Hubbard signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent following April’s NFL Draft. A four-year letterman at Northwestern State from 2016-19, Hubbard started 21 of a possible 23 games in his final two seasons as a Demon.
A 6-foot-4, 292-pound native of Kilgore, Texas, Hubbard started 11 of 12 games in 2019, including the first seven. With him in the lineup, Northwestern State’s offensive line allowed a sack on just 3.9 percent of its 517 pass attempts a season ago.
In each of the past two seasons, Hubbard was part of an offensive line that allowed NSU to establish a litany of school records, including consecutive seasons where it rewrote the single-season passing yardage mark.
As part of the Dolphins franchise, Hubbard has the chance to follow in the footsteps of former NSU wide receiver and track star Mark Duper, a member of the Dolphins’ Honor Roll and Walk of Fame.
The NFL expanded the size of each franchise’s practice squad by six for the 2020 season. Each team is allowed to carry up to 16 players as the league attempts to provide teams flexibility to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photos: Action shot of Hubbard while at NSU. Credit: Gary Hardamon/NSU Photographic Services