Dylan Laube is becoming more well known by the month. Metaphorically speaking, he’s a very talented hurdler.

The sport he’s gaining more of a national reputation in is football – hurdling adversity every step of the way. Those who follow FCS college football have heard this story time and time again: Athlete isn’t highly recruited out of high school, athlete blossoms while at the FCS school he chose, athlete turns heads when the rare opportunity arises to impress others.

It seems like players from the SEC or Big Ten get 10 strikes before they’re “out,” while FCS prospects seem to get one strike – if that.

While Laube was an FCS All-American at the University of New Hampshire as a jack-of-all-trades threat to score a touchdown, it’s what he did at the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl a few weeks ago, and his participation in this week’s NFL Combine that have elevated his name even more.

See, getting attention in the national spotlight for football when you play at a school tucked up in the Granite State and the size of UNH is a hurdle unto itself. It’s not easy – although it hasn’t prevented Laube from being a prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft.

In 2023, New Hampshire’s Dylan Laube tied for third in the FCS with 18 TDs despite playing in only 10 games. (Will Fudge UNH Athletics)

In New Hampshire’s lone game against FBS opponent Central Michigan last season, the 5-foot-10, 208-pound Laube caught 80-yard and 71-yard touchdowns, rushed for another, and wrapped with 295 receiving yards (an FCS single-game record) on 12 catches, 30 rushing yards and 46 return yards on special teams. He was the biggest reason UNH came within three points of knocking off a school with 20-plus more scholarships available.

“After that game, there were a couple of (pro) scouts who were in the office next to our meeting room,” said Laube, who went on to be a Stats Perform FCS First Team All-American for the second consecutive season. “I walked by and saw they were watching the Central Michigan game. I guess it makes sense. It was the biggest stage game we played, it was a crazy game and I think for me it showed my versatility.

“I was able to show strong to fade routes, whip routes, corners, screen passes, even a bubble.”

As a junior, Laube produced 136 total offensive yards and a touchdown against the lone FBS team on UNH’s schedule, Western Michigan. As a redshirt freshman in 2019, he caught an 86-yard touchdown against FIU, also an FBS program.

The bigger the challenge, the more he has stepped up – that’s what makes the potential for doing something big in the NFL look so intriguing.

Laube also has hurdled the frustration of stuttering. Yes, stuttering. He won’t bring it up, but it’s noticeable. If someone brings it up, he doesn’t dodge or hide from it – he faces it head on.

“I’ve had this issue all my life, and it sucks sometimes,” Laube said. “I want to say some stuff, for more to come out, but this is me. It’s who I am … I hate public speaking, but if I have to do a presentation, I get through it. When we were freshmen, we had to sing ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’ by Bon Jovi. At the time, I think everyone on the team knew, but nobody’s bothered by it. I love them for that.”

Laube is an offensive weapon in many ways. UNH listed him as a running back, but he spent much of the 2023 season as a slot receiver, and he’s a deft kick and punt returner. He ranked fourth in the FCS in all-purpose yards per game in 2021, and first in both 2022 and ’23.

Most mock NFL Draft lists have him as a day-three pick, meaning he’d be anywhere from the fourth to the seventh round. His stock has a chance to rise after the NFL Combine, pro days and the interview stage of spring evaluations.

While a player being drafted out of New Hampshire is rare, it’s hardly unprecedented.

If an NFL team drafts Laube, he’d be the third pick out of UNH since 2000, and the first since defensive lineman Jared Smith was taken by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round in 2013. Corey Graham, a safety, was taken in the fifth round in 2007 and played until 2018, racking up 707 career tackles and Super Bowl rings with the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles. Linebacker Steve Doig is the highest pick ever taken from UNH, going to the Detroit Lions in the third round in 1982.

Dylan Laube and his family feel it will happen for the New Hampshire standout when the 2024 NFL Draft takes place from April 25-27 in Detroit.

“Me and my family are the only people who truly believe in me,” he said. “This is something we knew would be a long process, but such an exciting process. I always saw myself as an NFL player. When I went to New Hampshire, I didn’t just see myself on the scout team, but being in the rotation of playing. And it has turned out that I’ve become an all-conference and All-American type of player.

“It’s not something that just clicked. It’s been a long process, a long, winding journey with injuries, hard work, training – both with in-season and offseason stuff. Lots of things have paved my way through that journey.”

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