Hughes Focused On Five

DURHAM, N.C. -- Pack Pride caught up with top in-state recruit Mike Hughes after he led New Bern (NC) High School to a 12-0 victory over Hillside High School.

New Bern kicked off the 2014 season with a tough road game against perennial powerhouse Hillside on Friday evening. Led by all-everything QB Mike Hughes, the Bears came out on top 12-0 in a defensive struggle.

Although he projects at cornerback on the next level, New Bern's offense centers around Hughes at quarterback. He rushed for 144 yards on 18 carries including a 10-yard touchdown run where he disappeared into a mass of Hornet defenders only to emerge in the end zone for the Bear's decisive final score. Hughes also completed 6 of 19 passes for 78 yards and a 19-yard scoring strike.

Hughes told Pack Pride that New Bern's win was a result of a good week of preparation.

"You know we practiced hard all week. We were getting ready for the heat. I think we prepared pretty well for it and we came out with the win. Like I said, we worked hard all week. We came together as a team, played as a team."

The trip to Durham also provided Hughes with an opportunity to head over to NC State on Saturday with his mother. He talked about that upcoming trip.

"You know I just want to go down and see the atmosphere, stay with the players. I'm going to practice in the morning (Saturday). You know, see how I like it. I've been there a couple of times but it's always fun to come back and just see if I want to go there or not."

It certainly didn't go unnoticed by Hughes that a couple of his former teammates were in the stands to watch him play including current Wolfpack WR Bra'Lon Cherry and QB Josh Taylor.

"My adrenaline gets pumped up when old friends come to see me play. I just want to give them a show. They love it (at NC State). They say it's the best decision they've ever made."

Conventional wisdom has had UNC and NC State out front for Hughes' commitment. So, are State and Carolina the two teams to beat?

"No sir, not yet. (I'm focused) on Florida, South Carolina, Ohio State, UNC and NC State."

UNC's efforts have been led by defensive coordinator and cornerback's coach Dan Disch. Hughes said the two have established a solid relationship.

"It's pretty well (our contact). We talk almost every week. He's a great guy. They've been recruiting me since my sophomore year. We have a pretty good relationship."

Hughes tweeted out several weeks ago that a final decision on his college plans could be made sooner than he originally thought. He confirmed that possibility but has since decided to take a step back and delay his decision for a while.

"Yes sir, a couple of visits made me close a little bit (to deciding) but I just decided to stay calm, be patient and it's coming along well.

"(I'll make a decision) maybe mid-season. You know whenever I want to call a place home. I haven't decided that yet (who I'll visit) but probably the five that I mentioned."

So what is it that Hughes likes about NC State, UNC, South Carolina, Ohio State and Florida?

"They're powerhouse schools. They're schools I was looking at growing up. I just like their facilities and I like their coaches as well."

Hughes said he hopes to take anywhere from three to five official visits before his decision and currently has no particular favorites.

He is rated a three-star prospect and the No. 63 cornerback in the nation by

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