In-State Rivals Battling For Hughes

New Bern (NC) athlete Mike Hughes is hoping he can represent his state in the Shrine Bowl.

New Bern (NC) athlete Mike Hughes is hoping he can represent his state in the Shrine Bowl, and last week he participated in the invite-only workout to try and earn a spot on the team.

"It would be an honor to play in that game," said Hughes. "I thought I did pretty good. Towards the end I tightened up a little bit... I wasn't loose like I was at the start of practice."

Hughes is one of the state's top athletes. At a spring Shrine Bowl combine, he ripped off 40-yard dash times of 4.34 and 4.37 respectively. He also had a 4.27 shuttle and a 10-foot, 3-inch broad jump. The most impressive number Hughes posted may have come on the bench press where he lifted 185 pounds a stellar 25 times.

That athleticism caught the eye of Garner (NC) standout Nyheim Hines, who said that Hughes was the most impressive player he saw at the workout.

"Mike Hughes impressed me," said Hines. "I already knew him, I knew he was a DB. He's tough, strong, physical, and fast. I liked that."

Tracking as one of the state's top players, Hughes had a terrific junior season. Lining up at quarterback, he passed for over 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for over 1,100 yards and 27 touchdowns. However, college programs are mainly recruiting him to play on the defensive side of the football.

He holds offers from NC State, North Carolina, Clemson, ECU, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Auburn, Ohio State, and Louisville among others.

His most recent visits were to the two in-state schools high on his list, North Carolina and NC State. He visited both in a single day.

Hughes started out in Raleigh, checking out the Wolfpack.

"It went well," he said. "I've been up there a few times so I already knew what to expect. I got to spend a lot of time with the coaches. I liked that."

He then drove over to North Carolina and participated in their "Freak Show" workout.

"It went pretty good," said Hughes. "I had a good time. I had a good time with the coaches."

Both schools have obviously made Hughes a priority, and he says that their pitches are similar.

"They are two in-state rivals," he stated. "[Laughing] They are always arguing over each other every time I'm with one of them... just comparing stats and telling me they want me to stay in-state."

Next up for Hughes will be a trip to South Carolina. While he doesn't have a leader, he hopes to make a decision in the near future.

"I'm still wide open right now," he said. "This summer will help me a lot. I'm hoping I can make my decision before the season starts."

Pack Pride Top Stories