INDIANAPOLIS — Back in high school in Powder Springs, Ga., Bradley Chubb was motivated by the public address system.
Make a tackle and hear your name broadcast to everybody in the stands.
It became something of an addiction.
"So I’d try to be all over the field, just try to make tackles to get my name called so I could walk through school and everybody would say, ‘Hey, good game,’" Chubb said Saturday during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indiana Convention Center.
Chubb kept making a lot of tackles during his career at North Carolina State, and soon his name will be heard by more fans than his high-school self could probably imagine.
The Bronko Nagurski award winner as the nation's best collegiate defender is the rarest of draft commodities — especially in this year's class — an elite pass rusher.
And that makes him nearly certain to hear his name called by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell very early in next month's draft.
"It’s hard to find guys in free agency because they don’t let them out of their building," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said of top edge defenders. "... You look through the league, you have to draft and develop your own guys."
Indianapolis, picking third overall, often has been linked to Chubb in this process.
The Colts are switching back to a 4-3 defense under new coordinator Matt Eberflus and desperately need a quick and athletic defender who can rush the passer from the outside. Indy finished with just 25 sacks last season, and Jabaal Sheard led the team with 5.5.
Chubb certainly fits the bill. He recorded 25 sacks in his final three seasons with the Wolfpack, including 10 in each of the past two years.
He returned to school after a solid junior season and improved his stock to the point where he's likely to be the first defensive player off the board.
He's already talked with the Colts informally a couple of times during the draft process and was scheduled to meet with the team formally Saturday night.
"A lot of people have been saying I’m going to the Colts, but you never know," he said. "If that happens, I’ll be happy of course to get drafted to such a great city. I’m just looking forward to it."
Chubb — whom some have compared to the legendary Lawrence Taylor — also has had talks with the Giants, who hold the second overall pick.
If he somehow slips out of the top three, the Broncos (No. 5) and Buccaneers (No. 7) also are expected to have interest.
Chubb isn't concerned with where he lands.
For now, he's just enjoying the process.
"It would be amazing just to get drafted," Chubb said. "It’s a life-long dream of mine. For me to be standing at this podium, getting these pictures taken, seeing (them) on InstaGram the past five years of my life, I’m just like ‘I want to be right there.’ Just to be right here and just being even in consideration to be getting drafted is a blessing. Whatever team takes me I’ll just be happy."
Chubb comes from football bloodlines.
His father, Aaron, and brother, Brandon, were star linebackers at Georgia and Wake Forest, respectively. And his cousin Nick also is part of this draft class as a running back from Georgia.
But genetics aren't the reason most often cited for Chubb's success.
He's seen in many ways as a self-made man.
A work ethic honed by years of watching his father and brother train has served him well during his rapid ascension. And it's evident on tape.
Asked which play from his college career best exemplifies his style, Chubb didn't hesitate to come up with the memory of a forced fumble against Florida State last season when he chased the quarterback more than 10 yards downfield to make the tackle.
"If you watch the whole play, I was tied up with a guard, and (the quarterback) hit my gap, and I was like, ‘Man, that’s mine, I know that,’" Chubb said. "I had to shed that guard real quick, turn around and find out where he was. He did a nice little spin move on the safety, and I was like, ‘Man, I can’t let my dog go out like that.’ Went in, tomahawk-chopped it down and got the ball out for my team."
Chubb understands there will be adjustments needed to deal with the speed and elite talent level of the pro game. But he has some rather lofty aspirations.
He envisions his game as a mold of Raiders star Khalil Mack's power and Broncos star Von Miller's speed.
For now, he's working to fine-tune his technique and make sure he has the varied arsenal needed to do one of the most important jobs in the NFL.
"My job is to get after one of the best players on the field, one of the highest-paid players on the field," Chubb said. "It changes the dynamics of the game. You see in the Super Bowl (in February), sack-caused-fumble ends the game. Take it back to when the Broncos won (two years ago), Von Miller just going crazy in that game. Super Bowl MVP of that game. This position is such a priority and such a premium in this league because you’re getting after one of the most important positions."