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Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Q&A: Naashon Hughes talks scholarship

By William Wilkerson

Outside linebacker Naashon Hughes (Harker Heights, Texas/Harker Heights) was prepared to grayshirt to stay with Texas and be near his brother, Camrhon Hughes, a redshirt freshman offensive tackle, and best friend Darius James, a fellow 2013 commitment.

He understood that he would have had to sit out the 2013 season and enroll at Texas in January 2014, essentially missing out on his true freshman year.

So when he and most of Texas’ 2013 commitments collectively took their official visits the weekend of Dec. 7, he was just looking to spend time with them and soak up the fun. It could have been the last time he saw all of them together for a while.

Little did he know the Longhorns coaching staff planned to surprise him with a full scholarship offer over the weekend. HornsNation caught up with Hughes to discuss what the scholarship means to him.

HornsNation: How did you find out about your full scholarship?

Naashon Hughes: We had breakfast Saturday morning at Mack Brown’s house and he spoke with all of the commitments individually. When I went to speak to him he told me I had a full offer. It was great. That’s what I’ve been working for all season. Once he told me I was ecstatic.

HN: What’s it mean to you to finally have gotten the full ride?

Hughes: It means a lot to me. Now I get to come in with my class instead of in January or something like that. So I get to go in with my class and go straight to work now.

HN: What were some of the reactions from your teammates?

Hughes: They were all happy, especially Darius. He was the first one to congratulate me and everything. He said we all can’t wait to get up there and play with each other.

HN: That was the highlight of the banquet weekend, but what were some others?

Hughes: We got there Friday and went to the football banquet, and watched Kenny Vaccaro win all of those awards. After that, my host was Duke Thomas, so we just went out with him and my brother [Camrhon Hughes]. Saturday we watched practice and had another meal at Vince Young’s Steakhouse. That was pretty good. After that I went out with Duke, my brother and Andrew Billings.

HN: How do you think the weekend went for Billings, one of Texas’ top remaining targets?

Hughes: I think he had a great time. We worked him over pretty good. I think he is definitely considering Texas.

HN: You feel like you have a lot to prove even though you have the scholarship now?

Hughes: Just because I have it, now I have to show that they made the right decision. I have to prove to them that they made a good choice.

HN: Where do the coaches want you to play: outside linebacker or safety?

Hughes: When I spoke with Coach [Manny] Diaz he said it would basically be what I am doing now, which is basically the hybrid guy covering inside slot receivers but still playing down near the line. I definitely like the outside linebacker spot because in the secondary you don’t get into all of the action.

HN: You weigh 220 pounds right now. Did the coaches tell you anything about them wanting you at a certain weight when you get to Texas this fall?

Hughes: They told me once I got down to Austin and went through a couple of workouts with Bennie [Wylie] they said I should be able to put on some weight pretty easily. I guess it is just up to my body.