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Sunday, December 9, 2012
Naashon Hughes lands full scholarship

By Max Olson

Naashon Hughes put his faith in Texas in February. More than nine months later it paid off.

The three-star linebacker commit from Harker Heights, Texas, got some good news during a breakfast with Longhorns coach Mack Brown and the rest of the UT pledges this weekend.

“They told me I have a full offer now,” Hughes said. “It was great news, and I wasn’t expecting it really. When they told me, I was happy.”

Hughes didn’t have a full scholarship offer when he gave the Longhorns his pledge on Feb. 28. Instead, he’d agreed to potentially grayshirt at Texas.

That would’ve meant sitting out the 2013 season and enrolling at Texas in January 2014. It would’ve meant falling behind the rest of the guys in his class and missing out on a traditional freshman year.

Texas had told Hughes all along, though, that they’d award him a full scholarship if one opened up later on. He was rewarded for his patience during his official visit to Texas this weekend.

“All the commits had breakfast with Mack Brown and we all met with him individually, and he told me then,” Hughes said. “I was shocked a little bit, but that’s what I’ve been working for.”

The scholarship was especially surprising considering offensive line coach Stacy Searels visited Hughes earlier last week and made no mention of the new plan. He was saving the surprise for the banquet weekend.

A 6-foot-3, 210-pound outside linebacker, Hughes said defensive coordinator Manny Diaz wants him to play on the outside off the edge and in coverage.

He’s just happy to know he’ll get a chance to right away by joining the program this summer.

Hughes stuck with teammate Darius James and Longhorn commits Jake Raulerson and Antwuan Davis over the weekend, and his player host was cornerback Duke Thomas.

“In seven or eight months, we’ll be for real and playing. I really can’t wait,” Hughes said.

Hughes also got to catch up with his brother, Texas offensive lineman Camrhon Hughes. The freshman redshirted and sat out this season after suffering a torn ACL in June.

“We saw him every day. He’s doing better,” Hughes said. “I think he might be back for the spring. We’ll see, but he’s doing a lot better.”

Getting to spend a weekend on campus got Hughes excited for what’s to come. Now that he’s a full-fledged member of the Longhorns’ 2013 class, he’s ready to get to work.

“Now I can come in with my class,” Hughes said, “and we can work on getting a national championship right when I get there.”