Luke Hublitz is very much looking forward to being able to walk normally again.
His most trusty mode of transportation since late spring has been a scooter. Either that or a set of crutches, which are coming off in the next few days. In another week or so, the boot that’s been protecting a foot recovering from a stress fracture will come off.
That’s when the 6-3, 190-pound defenseman from Eclipse will be able to start working his way back into the form that made him the NLF’s No. 8 recruit in the class of 2024. Before that stress fracture, Hublitz sat at No. 2 in the first set of rankings and with good reason. He carved out a starting spot on an absurdly stacked Brunswick (Conn.) defense on the heels off of a dominant performance at the NLF at IMG event. He was the first five-star announced, and there’s a very good argument to be made that he’s got the highest collegiate ceiling of any player in the class. Blessed with prototypical size, a nasty disposition and bad intentions when covering someone, Hublitz is what a No. 1 defenseman looks like and plays like.
Statement Commit for Duke
Yet nobody’s seen him play since the spring because of that stress fracture. He played the whole season on a bum wheel. Hublitz thought that he could go one more game – the inaugural Prep Nationals championship game – but that goal quickly went out the window.
“I got run by on the first play of the championship game, and while I was hoping to play, that was when I realized that I couldn’t,” Hublitz explained.
Fortunately for Hublitz, the Bruins won anyway, capping their dominant season with a 12-6 win in the title game. As luck would have it, his injury didn’t matter in his recruitment, either. He still emerged as a top target for just about everyone, but like many Brunswick standouts before him, seemed ticketed for Duke from Day One.
That perception became a reality last week when Hublitz kicked off the Blue Devils’ 2024 class with a verbal commitment. NLF No. 2 Ben McCarthy (Haverford School, Pa.) quickly followed, giving John Danowski a pair of five-star, top-10 prospects to get the class rolling.
— NLF (@natlaxfed) September 15, 2022
Blue Devil for Life
Pretty good start, right?
“I’ve wanted Duke for a while. I wanted Duke this whole summer. I only visited three schools, and to me, Duke is the perfect school,” Hublitz said. “It’s the most well-rounded because it’s the best of both worlds with the best academics, the best top-tier lacrosse and a great social life. I kind of knew that Duke was perfect for me and there wasn’t much anyone could do to convince me otherwise.”
The Blue Devils stand out on their own merits. Despite that, it helped to have a pair of Hublitz’s Brunswick teammates in the fold in the form of Prime Time standouts Charlie Johnson (NLF No. 4 ’22 / Prime Time) and Tomas Delgado (NLF No. 7 ’22 / Prime Time). For Hublitz, it wasn’t just that two of his friends and teammates were headed to Durham. It was that it was those two specific ones.
“Those are guys that people have looked up to at Brunswick,” Hublitz explained. “I wanted to fill their shoes. There’s a reason why they chose Duke – because it was perfect – and I realized that it was the place where I wanted to be. I also liked that Duke didn’t tell me how great I was or anything like that. I’m not great. I’m a junior in high school and they’ve had all of these unbelievable players, so I found that different approach kind of refreshing.”
Chances are good that Hublitz and the Bruins will make a run at the No. 1 spot in the country. There’s an insane amount of talent coming back, including him, Delgado, NLF No. 2 ’23 Leo Hoffman (Team 91 LI / Penn) and difference-makers at every position. Then, next summer, he’s looking forward to one final run with that vaunted Eclipse team that’s as talented as any team in the country.
Scary thoughts for anyone lined up in his sights.