Meet the Freshmen: LB Naashon Hughes

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
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Three-star outside linebacker Naashon Hughes (Harker Heights, Texas/Harker Heights) was comfortable with his decision.

Early on in his recruitment, Hughes decided to take Texas’ offer of a grayshirt to be near his brother, Camrhon Hughes, a redshirt freshman offensive tackle and best friend Darius James, a fellow 2013 commit.

[+] EnlargeNaashon Hughes
Max Olson/ESPNThree-star prospect Naashon Hughes said he likes playing both outside linebacker and safety.
Other schools tried to sway Hughes -- he also had offers from Baylor, LSU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and South Carolina -- but he wanted to be a Longhorn even if it meant he’d have to sit out the 2013 season and enroll at Texas in January 2014.

Hughes’ patience paid off when he was awarded a full ride by Texas coach Mack Brown during breakfast at Brown’s house on the weekend of Dec. 7 while on an official visit.

With all of his worries subsided, Hughes turned his focus toward becoming the best player he could be in his last few months at Harker Heights. Now that time has come to an end, and he’s ready to start his career.

HornsNation: What most excites you about the journey you are about to embark on?

Naashon Hughes: Just getting started with football actually. Just getting back to working out and everything. I miss it a lot. A lot. It just feels like a longer break but really I’m just switching schools.

HN: What have you been doing to stay in shape since signing day?

Hughes: I’ve been working out with a trainer in Kileen at like 6 a.m. We do bench, single Bulgarian split squats, alligator walks, hang cleans, power cleans, everything cleans. We switch it up everyday.

HN: Is it tough to wake up that early and workout when you know it is summer time and your friends are out having fun?

Hughes: It started off hard but since I’ve been been doing it for so long it’s not that hard. But at the beginning it was pretty tough.

HN: Have you set any goals for your freshman season?

Hughes: I just want to work as hard as I can so I can try and play. I’m just trying to work hard and earn my spot.

HN: There was talk during your recruitment that you could play either outside linebacker or safety. Where do you think you’ll end up?

Hughes: Kind of in that outside linebacker position. I actually prefer that and safety about the same.

HN: What do you like about outside linebacker so much?

Hughes: You can get a little bit of the offensive linemen but you also get the running backs and receivers as well. Defensive linemen, the majority of the time, deal with linemen. Safeties mostly deal with receivers. But that "SAM" position gets a little bit of both.

HN: Have you put on any weight this summer?

Hughes: I have. I’m up 10 pounds to 223 and am 6-foot-4 .

HN: What has your brother told you about what to expect and how to handle yourself?

Hughes: He basically told me to work hard and earn my spot. He told me in whatever I do just work as hard as I can and my time would come.

HN: Now, Camrhon tore his ACL playing in a pickup basketball game around this time last year. How is he now?

Hughes: He is doing good. They cleared him to play and everything. Now he is just working out and getting his leg stronger so he can actually play at full speed.

HN: Will you play any basketball this summer?

Hughes: I’ll probably still play a little bit because I am the only one that has played in my family. But I think Camerhon is definitely done. I’ll play a little bit.

HN: You should probably tell everyone you are playing against to take it easy when guarding you, right?

Hughes: Definitely.

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