Hughes Favoring Five

DURHAM, N.C. --- Five schools have emerged as favorites for the enigmatic Mike Hughes.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound cornerback from New Bern (N.C.) is focused on Florida, North Carolina, NC State, Ohio State, and South Carolina.

“They are powerhouse schools, schools that I’ve been looking at growing up, and I just like their facilities, and I like the coaches, as well,” Hughes said.

A about a month ago, Hughes tweeted out that a “commitment will be coming real soon.” However, an actual commitment never followed.

“A couple of visits made me push a little bit,” Hughes said. “But I just decided to stay calm, be patient, and it’s coming along well.”

Although he was on the verge of making a verbal commitment, Hughes denies a leader. He says that all five schools are equal.

Hughes is now eyeing a midseason verbal commitment.

“Whenever I feel like I want to call a place home,” Hughes said.

In the meantime, Hughes plans to continue to take visits – unofficial and official. He hasn’t established his travel itinerary nor ruled out any schools for visits, but his five favorites will likely receive a visit at sometime in the coming months. He anticipates taking at least three official trips, but would like to take his full allotment of five.

Hughes will begin this weekend with a return to NC State.

“It’s just to go down to see the atmosphere, stay with the players, go to practice in the morning, [and] to see how I like it,” Hughes said. “I’ve been there a couple of times, but it’s always fun to come back to see if I want to go there or not.”

Bra’lon Cherry and Josh Taylor, current NC State players and former teammates of Hughes’s, traveled to Durham on Friday night to see New Bern open up the 2014 season against Durham Hillside.

“My adrenaline gets pumped up when my old friends come to see me play,” Hughes said. “I just wanted to give them a show.”

Hughes gave them, and everyone else in attendance, a show. Besides scoring both of New Bern’s touchdowns in a 12-0 victory over Hillside, Hughes rushed for 144 yards on 18 carries, passed for 78 yards on 6-of-19 throwing, had several booming punts, and a couple of tackles, including a touchdown-saving stop in the open field after a long Marcus Krah return.

“They love it,” Hughes said. “They said it was the best decision they’ve ever made.”

Hughes says he has a good relationship with Dan Disch, UNC’s cornerbacks coach who also serves as Hughes’ primary recruiter.

“We talk almost every week,” Hughes said. “He’s a great guy. He’s been recruiting me since sophomore year, so we have a pretty good relationship.”

Hughes plans to return to UNC for a game this season, but hasn’t determined which game.

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