RB Hudson to Prove He's No Stranger to Success

No one could ever accuse this previously little-known true freshman running back – in Provo less than two weeks – of being a recluse. During the football team's media day activities Saturday, he initiated familial contact with every Cougar teammate he encountered with hand slaps, a hug here and there, and some playful boxing moves.

Raymond Hudson, a 5-8, 185-pound All-District running back from Wharton High School (Tex.) with 4.4/40 speed, noted with unbridled enthusiasm: "These are my boys. This is my team and these are my teammates. These are the guys that will help me be successful. Hopefully, I can help them be successful. I know I can. I'm pretty confident in my abilities."

As a senior, Hudson rushed for more than 1,500 yards and helped lead his 8-4 team to the quarterfinals in the 3A state playoffs.

The newcomer with infectious enthusiasm overflowed with praise of his backfield teammates Curtis Brown and Naufahu Tahi, the expected running back starters. "Those guys are helping me out a lot. They're ahead of me right now, so I'm more than happy to learn from them. Hopefully in time I can help them. They've been real good at showing me around and showing me the ropes."

Though he did not sign a letter of intent nor was he recruited by the Cougars, he was nonetheless kept below the radar after his coach contacted BYU about his star athlete who was a late academic qualifier.

His divorced parents, Raymond and Tamara, quickly decided they would pay for their son's fall schooling at BYU when they learned about his chances of landing an early scholarship with the Cougars with the unanticipated departure this year of Reynaldo Brathwaite and Marcus Whalen.

Hudson said he was actively recruited by Texas, Clemson and Texas Tech, but they backed off when it appeared he would not be academically eligible. He planned to attend Cisco Junior College (Tex.), but when he met the NCAA Clearinghouse qualifications, his coach immediately searched for viable Div. 1 schools for his young athlete who decided with his parents to walk-on at BYU and work for a scholarship.

Hudson summarized his situation. "It's a long story, man. I don't even know where to start. My grades came in late and I'm just so grateful that BYU had a slot for me. I knew I could play D-1 ball out of high school, but because of my grades coming out too late, I thought I'd have to wait."

He added, "My coach contacted BYU and found out that they had a slot for me. Schools like Texas and Texas Tech took looks at me, but backed off because of questions about my eligibility."

Hudson already feels at home in Provo. "This is my home now. I love it here. I'm a very adaptable person, so adapting to this atmosphere hasn't been a problem. I'm just ready to play. I'm a worker and I'll do whatever they ask."

One arena that Hudson has already proven himself is in the weight room. He said he broke Wharton running back record with a 350 pound bench press as a junior. He also squatted 455 pounds and a 370-pound max on the power clean.

Joining the Cougars with a number of other freshmen from Texas, Hudson noted, "I'm glad they're here and they've become my friends real fast. But it wouldn't matter much anyway. I'm not really homesick. It's something I got to do to become successful and to prove to everyone what I can do."

What does Hudson have to prove? "… That I can play with the best. Playing here at BYU, I'll have a chance to play with the best and to go up against the best. I can't wait. I just can't wait," he said.

Fortunately for the Cougars, confidence is not a quality Hudson lacks. "I can do it all. I have legitimate 4.4 forty speed to the outside. I'm strong up the middle and I can catch the ball out of the backfield. I need to learn the offense, but once I do, then I know that I can really help this team this year and in the future. I'm a playmaker, but I need to learn now so I can be that playmaker this year," he concluded.

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