The Oxford High School product and son of Ole Miss assistant coach Tony Hughes is excited to be a real part of the program he's watched from a distance these last two seasons.
But watching it from the sidelines or stands and then actually being in the thick of things is quite a difference, according to Hughes.
"It's a big transition from high school to college," said Hughes, ranked as the No. 19 player in Mississippi and 71st-rated safety in the country by Scout.com. "But I learned (over the summer) that I can compete with ‘em out there. I think I can come in and compete for a job. It's faster than I thought it would be. Everybody's fast at this level, but I think I can compete."
Hughes said he hopes that he has picked up a bit of understanding of the game since he grew up in the home of a football coach.
"I probably have more knowledge than most," said Hughes, who as a senior in high school was credited with 22 tackles, two pass interceptions, seven pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries. "I've been around it longer. So I would think that's the case."
But Hughes knows there will be no favors doled out to him because of who his father is.
"They will treat me like any other player," he said. "I'm going out there and work hard, coach's son or not."
But he does know he will give it everything he has to try to help his team immediately.
"I've got to compete for a job," he said. "I plan to do that."
Hughes knows freshmen have played a lot here in the past couple of years in this system. That makes him even more eager to get after it as practice begins.
"It makes me more hungry," said Hughes, who played in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Football Classic in Mobile earlier this year. "I know that so many freshmen played last year, and I want to compete for a spot. Special teams, anything, I just want to be on the field."
Hughes ready to be a part of Rebel football
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