He wasn't a starter on the varsity team his sophomore year. He never showed the kind of athleticism that drew attention from scouts, even for a lineman. He had to step it up in the weight room and in offseason workouts and he did, ending up at Division I-AA William & Mary as an unlikely success story - eventually playing well enough to up to earn first-team All-America status at defensive tackle and several offers to play professionally in Canada and Europe.
But along the way, something happened that didn't fit into the storyline.
"I never would have gotten in to William & Mary without football, but when I was down there I started studying economics" said Staub, who works as managing principal for the private equity firm Odyssey Investment Partners in New York. "I got very interested in it and just sort of ignited an interest I never knew I had."
As it turned out, Staub's story ended up being about as far from cliché as you could imagine.
In high school, he helped the Squires to an undefeated football regular season in 1988 and earned Blue Mountain League Defensive Player of the Year honors for his work on the defensive line. He was a starting forward on a Delone basketball team that won the PIAA title a few months later.
After a stellar playing career at William & Mary, several of his teammates, including current Pittsburgh Steelers head man Mike Tomlin, went directly into coaching or pursued professional football careers. Staub accepted a National Scholar Athlete award instead, allowing him to stay on at W&M on scholarship as a graduate student and earn his Master's degree in public policy.
Thirteen years after entering the workforce, Staub has had a tremendous amount of professional success. He has risen from an associate at a strategic investment firm to vice president at two different investment firms before his current gig at Odyssey. He now lives in the posh Long Island enclave of Garden City, where even small one-family homes carry a price tag of more than $1 million.
For Staub, athletics has always been a means to an end. Sports got him to where he is today. He doesn't understand why he would need them for anything else.
"In school I learned subject matter, but in sports I learned what it's like to be successful and what it means to work hard at something, what it means to persevere when your down, what it means to pull together with your teammates to make the sum greater than you are individually," Staub said.
At Delone, Staub was known for his ability to bring the best out of his teammates as well as his raw athletic talent. Former teammate Jeff McKibben was impressed enough to recruit Staub to work with him at Odyssey.
"I went after Craig because he's a winner and he makes other people around him better," said McKibben, who was on the state title winning basketball team with Staub. "People like working with him and he's a very talented guy."
Most of Staub's current athletic endeavors consist of he and his wife Jennifer playing with their three kids - Katherine, 6, Brendan, 4, and Elizabeth, 1 - in the backyard and helping out with youth teams. But being away from competitive athletics doesn't make the memories of the glory days any less sweet.
"This is going to sound a little arrogant, but I still know my exact numbers for that game," Staub said with a laugh, before talking about scoring 27 points and pulling down 22 rebounds in the title contest. "It's only been 20 years, right?"