Class of 2016 SF Clayton Hughes Visits MSU

University School of Jackson (TN) 2016 small forward Clayton Hughes unofficially visited Mississippi State this past weekend.

  • Name: Clayton Hughes
  • Classification: 2016
  • High School: University School of Jackson
  • 2013-14 Season Stats: 15 ppg, 6 rpg, 3 bpg, 2 spg, 2 apg
  • AAU Team: Team Thad
  • Position: Small Forward
  • HT-WT: 6-foot-6, 190
  • Ranking: NR
  • Colleges of Interest: Butler, Central Arkansas, Evansville, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Purdue, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Western Kentucky

  • Hughes visited MSU this past Saturday and came away impressed with what he saw.

    "I had never been up there before and I have a few friends that are Mississippi State fans and they have told me how great the campus is," said Hughes. "I was a little skeptical at first but going around the campus with (MSU assistant and recruiting) Coach (Chris) Hollender I got to see how amazing the campus was. They have a beautiful campus. The facilities are amazing. I was expecting it to be great but the court is amazing. They have the new jumbotron and locker rooms. The weight room impressed me a lot. It was huge. Everything was great. I loved it."

    He also came away impressed with his recruiting coach, Chris Hollender, and the head man, Rick Ray.

    "That was the first time that I have gotten to talk to (Coach Hollender) in person," said Hughes. "He was hilarious. I love his personality. I think he is a great guy. He has been a great person to talk to, besides just recruiting but everything. I've had a good time talking to him and being recruited by him.

    "The first time I talked to (Coach Ray) he talked about his program and how he coaches. The thing he talks about, honesty and what he wants for his team (and players), he sounds like a great guy. I could tell just by talking to him that he is a great man and a great coach. I like him a lot."

    Thanks to the visit, Mississippi State made a huge move with Hughes.

    "After my visit they are really high on my list," said Hughes, who has also visited Tennessee, Virginia and Vanderbilt and will likely visit Ole Miss and Middle Tennessee within the next two weeks. "They really wowed me. They have to be in my top 3 to top 4 now, especially after the visit."

    Mississippi State is one of several schools that have offered the talented forward.

    "I have offers from Ole Miss, Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State, Central Arkansas and obviously Mississippi State," said Hughes. "Virginia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Butler and Evansville are also recruiting me. I think Virginia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt are getting pretty close to offering me."

    The recruiting process has been a world-wind affair for the 16-year-old.

    "It has been so exciting," said Hughes. "This time last year it was nothing like this. I wasn't talking to anybody or any coaches. Then, after this summer, it has blown up. I have been on the phone with a different coach every day after they could call at the end of the summer. It has been awesome."

    He explained what he did during the summer that caused the interest from coaches to skyrocket.

    "I went to a few camps and got my name out there, then I played really good at the Boo Williams tournament that we went to," said Hughes, who plays for AAU team Team Thad. "And the last two tournaments we played in July, the Under Armour Finals and Kentucky Finals, I feel like I played amazing."

    He gives a lot of credit to his AAU coach Norton Hurd for the help that he has given him.

    "I think playing for Team Thad really helped me because Coach Hurd has been great," said Hughes. "He has really gotten my name out there."

    Hughes described why he feels college coaches like his game so much.

    "I'm a versatile player who can shoot, dribble, use my athleticism well and play defense," he said. "I like to use my athleticism, dunk and do things like that. A lot of coaches say they like my all-around style of play. On top of that, I know the game."

    Keep it on as we continue to follow Clayton Hughes recruitment.

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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