Juggling school and football sometimes can be an overwhelming task for recruits as their time and energy fall short of each other. Adding a part-time job to the mix would be unbearable for many, but not all.
Virginia Beach (Va.) Kempsville product, Travis Hughes (6-2, 220, 4.5) has proven he is structured enough to handle many tasks at one time. Not only is he a full-time student-athlete during the day, but he also works part-time at night.
Not only that, but Hughes must also find time to check out the 15 schools that have offered him a scholarship – a list that includes LSU, USC, Clemson, East Carolina, Louisville, Maryland, North Carolina, N.C St, Oregon, Penn State, Texas Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Connecticut.
Due to the four-star prospect’s busy schedule, TigerSportsDigest.com caught up with his father, Mr. Tony Hughes, for a recruiting update.
“Travis has remained very humble and I know he feels blessed to have the opportunity to go to college and have the chance to choose from so many major universities,” the elder Hughes stated.
“He’ll be looking for three things in them,” he continued. “He wants to know how soon he is going to play. He is also very concerned about the educational part of school and what they offer for life outside of football. And finally, he is a little concerned about location. He doesn’t want to go too far from home, but he will depending on the programs that offer.”
Mr. Hughes said his son already has an idea of some programs he would be willing to travel to play for.
“I know he would be willing to go to places like LSU, Alabama and USC,” Hughes said. “I know he likes USC because he’s been talking about them. And he likes LSU and Alabama because of the rawness of the athletes that go to school there.
“He likes the SEC flavor and the speed of the SEC. He knows they’re all about aggressive play both at the linebacker position and at running back.”
Hughes has made a name for himself at two positions as he showcased his talent over the years on both sides of the ball. Last season, he rushed for over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns with an average of 7.5 yards per carry. On defense, he racked up 79 tackles and six sacks, and also recovered two fumbles and forced three more.
“Most teams are recruiting him as a linebacker, but Georgia, Clemson and East Carolina like him as a running back,” Hughes informed. “If he can get on the field early, he doesn’t care where he plays, but I know he’d rather play linebacker.”
Travis’ preference for linebacker can be attributed in part to one of the NFL’s all-time greats. If he can duplicate that same type of success then the young man will have a long and fruitful future on the gridiron.
“I remember one day he was watching Dick Butkus on NFL Classics and he was just engulfed by him,” Hughes explained. “He was like “Dad, this guy is crazy!’ I think he liked how Butkus seemed calm off of the field, but on the field he was an animal. That’s exactly how Travis is.”
Some programs have already had the opportunity to see the mild-mannered side of Hughes as he has taken trips to a couple of junior days thus far.
“We’ve been to Maryland and Virginia Tech junior days,” Hughes said. “Travis thought they were both awesome and he really hit it off with all of the coaches. We’re going to Virginia next, then North Carolina, North Carolina State, Clemson and East Carolina. We’re going to try to hit up some junior days and spring games that are not too far from here.”
More traveling will be on the Hughes family’s agenda this summer and that is when a trip to LSU could take place.
“I think during the summer we’ll try to venture out and see some other places like Louisville, Kentucky and LSU,” Hughes added. “We’re only going to go to the places that have offered though. And then the places we do not see during the summer, we’ll try to make their games during the season or just mix it up like that. I just want him to take his time and try to find the place that’s a true fit for him.”
Hughes’ father said that no one should expect to see a decision anytime soon. He wants his son to get the most out of the opportunity that is before him.
“I want him to experience all of this,” Hughes concluded. “This is a once in a lifetime decision and I want him to make sure he makes the right choice for himself. I think we’re going to wait until the season starts to see how some of these programs do. That’s the real deal then. I’m not sure if he’ll take all five official visits, but probably at least three. He’ll probably decide sometime during his senior season. I don’t see him waiting until signing day.”