Pack Still Battling For Hughes

Virginia Beach (VA) Travis Hughes has emerged as one of the nation's most sought after linebackers. State was one of the first to offer and Pack Pride has the latest on where the Wolfpack stands.

NC State was one of the first schools to offer four-star linebacker Travis Hughes and since then, his recruiting has exploded. The Pack now finds itself in the thick of heated battle headed into the summer.

The 6-1, 220-pound prospect from Virginia Beach (VA) Kempsville told Pack Pride that his favorites are Maryland, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, but added that NC State, LSU and Clemson are not far behind and form his second-tier of favorites.

"That changes all the time," he said of his list of favorites. "Right now those are just some strong candidates."

Hughes doesn't plan on making a decision any time soon, partly because he wants to gather more information about the schools recruiting him, but also because he wants to see how various programs are performing in the fall.

"I'm going to make (a decision) during my senior year because I want to try to see some of these colleges playing," he said. "I want to try to get a feel for where these programs are going and see that aspect of it. A lot of these colleges are playing really big games that first week of the season. I want to see some of them."

Hughes has been involved in track, running the 100, 200 and 4 x 100, which has occupied much of his time and made it somewhat difficult to visit all the schools he would like to see. He said he is now at 220 pounds, which is big for him. Because of that he's a step slower than he was last year. In 2009 he was running the 100 in 10.9 seconds, whereas now he's running it around 11.3. He's working hard to pick that speed back up.

Regardless, Hughes is still considered one of the very best prospects in the region for the class of 2011. He has a huge offer list that includes some of the most elite programs in the game.

NC State has positioned itself well with Hughes, and they will have plenty of other opportunities to impress him.

"Coach Willis is doing an awesome job recruiting me," Hughes said. "He's done a great job of helping me know what I need to do to qualify and all of that. He showed me around the campus and he's always trying to get me to come up there and chill with some of the players just so I can get a nice little feel for the college life.

"He's a very open guy. Plus, Jay Smith is almost like my brother. We've known each other since I was probably a baby. NC State's a great college. They have a beautiful stadium and awesome fans.

"I went up there for a practice that they had in the stadium. I've been up there a couple of times now."

Hughes was scheduled to be at Maryland this past weekend for the Terrapins' spring game. He said he won't be able to take many more trips after that for a while because of track.

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