Linebacker Travis Hughes recently emerged as a top target for NC State in the Class of 2011, and his interest level in the Pack appears to be high.
Offensively this year Hughes has rushed for 1,270 yards and 11 touchdowns en route to second team all-eastern region honors. However, his season came to an end this past Sunday when Virginia Beach (VA) Kempsville lost to Oscar Smith in the first round of the Virginia state playoffs. Oscar Smith is considered to be one of the nation’s top high school programs and managed to hold Hughes to 69 yards rushing and a touchdown in a 49-13 win.
At 6-1, 215 pounds, Hughes projects at linebacker in college and has attracted a ton of early recruiting attention, including an offer from NC State. After camping at State last summer, Hughes was back in Raleigh for the Pack’s matchup with Maryland a couple of weeks ago. He talked with Pack Pride about the visit.
"I came down for the Maryland game and I got to talk with the players and get a good feel for the coaches," he said. "The facilities were good and the fans are great. I was surprised at how many people were there. It was a great experience. They showed me a lot of love. Me, my father and my grandfather were there with another player from here on my team, Gavin Williams. We both felt a lot of love, actually.
"I talked to all the coaches, including the linebackers coach. I felt good there. The coaches just said basically they're serious about me coming to their school and being a linebacker for them. I guess coach (Keith) Willis looked up my tape on YouTube and he loves me. He called up my coach and faxed the offer in.
"He was basically saying they just want me up there. Coach Willis showed me a lot of love. He's a great recruiter. He talked to my father and grandfather and made them feel comfortable. He answered all their questions. It was a good experience for me to go up there."
Hughes will visit North Carolina and Virginia Tech in the coming weeks, and both of those schools, along with the Pack and one other, are at the top of his list.
"I would say NC State, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Maryland are at the top right now. I still like Penn State, too."