Coach calls UW commit Hubley 'diamond'

With the game in hand, Waukesha (Wis.) Catholic Memorial defensive coordinator Bob Vitale headed down from the coaches’ box to the sideline Friday during the middle of the third quarter. On the way, he passed Wisconsin assistant coach Ben Strickland.

He had a short message for the Badgers regarding senior safety Matt Hubley, who only had a walk-on offer from Wisconsin at that point.

“I walked by him and said, ‘I don’t know what more this kid can do,’ ” Vitale said.

The answer was that more wasn't necessary. Strickland went back to the Wisconsin coaches that night to talk about Hubley, and by Monday the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Hubley had a Wisconsin offer. He committed Tuesday.

Vitale, Hubley’s uncle, has coached the player on varsity for four years. The coach shed some light on a prospect few knew about before Hubley committed to the Badgers.

“Defensively, he is a terror on the field,” Vitale said. “The kid is going to be a diamond. That was one of the things I told Ben, ‘Please don’t miss out on this kid.’

"He’s going to reap the benefits for the program.”

Vitale said Hubley is the right fit for Wisconsin. Not only did Hubley grow up a Wisconsin fan, but he fits the mold of Wisconsin’s blue-collar mentality.

A coach for 23 years, Vitale said he has rarely coached a player with as much passion and love for football as Hubley. He repeatedly tells Hubley to stop lifting or go home for the night. Vitale said he is coach-able and talented, adding that Hubley is quicker, faster and stronger than a former player he coached that ended up at Michigan.

“He’s an old, blue-collar kid,” Vitale said, “and they are hard to find today.”