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
"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
"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
Hughes said he hopes to take anywhere from three to five official
visits before his decision and currently has no particular
He is rated a three-star prospect and the No. 63 cornerback in the
nation by Scout.com.
Hughes Focused On Five
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