Player Capsule: Thomas Hudson
Position: Tight End
Eligibility: Redshirt freshman
Weight: 255 pounds
2015 season quick review: Hudson redshirted and was a scout team member last season as a true freshman.
Tight ends coach Del Alexander on Hudson: "Tommy surprisingly has good speed for his size. He's big physically for being so early in his career but he moves really well at that size. He's also physical, a wide body, can put his hand on the ground. He can move some of the guys that we're playing against, definitely move some of the defensive ends we play and be physical at the point of attack. If he can do that over and over again, why not throw it to him in the flat or down the field?"
SunDevilSource.com analysis (06/16): You have to go back 10 years or more to find a tight end Arizona State has signed out of high school with Hudson's size. He was ready out of the box in terms of physical stature, but needed a redshirt year nonetheless to learn the complex ASU scheme for the tight end and 3-back position under Mike Norvell. Now, Hudson is making the adjustment to a different position coach and offensive coordinator, so that's going to continue to be a process.
Hudson should benefit from tight ends coach Del Alexander, a former wide receivers coach, from a route running standpoint. Hudson said he's already learning a lot and is enamored with his new coach with regard to breaking down the specifics of the plays. A lot of the finer details of becoming a receiving weapon are going to be further tweaked and enhanced: learning how to create leverage and separation as a route runner; to not telegraph the route prematurely; to use his weight and movement to transition in and out of breaks, etc. These were big focal points last year and that will continue.
For a big-bodied tight end, Hudson gets out and runs well with gathering speed. It's initial quickness and flexibility where Hudson will be able to make the biggest gains in the ASU strength and conditioning program. He can improve his catch radius and ability to bend and make rangier and adjustment plays on the football. His size is an asset as a blocker and Hudson should be able to initially find a role as a sub-package offensive player. Hudson will have to find the right balance between poise and purpose as a blocker, attacking blocks in space as a move weapon, and learning how to exploit angles and surface areas in-line. There's a lot of work to be done because Hudson has the potential to be a very good player.
Projected depth chart status: Situational, heavier personnel groupings are Hudson's greatest opportunity for playing time in 2016 but as he proves himself and demonstrates capability, his opportunity should increase given ASU's ability to change its looks and use its tight ends in versatile ways without switching personnel groupings.