Crenshaw Cougar is on the Prowl

Most people hear Crenshaw High (Los Angeles, Calif.) and think of legendary coach Willie West and the great basketball program that the Cougars have had over the past three decades. But recently the school's football program has been on a rise, turning out some top Division I talent over the past four years. A player certain to carry that tradition on in the Class of 2003 is running back/defensive back Daymeion Hughes.

Last fall as a junior, the 5-foot-10, 170 pound Hughes helped Crenshaw all the way to the L.A. City Section semifinals, where they fell to the Steve Smith-led Taft Toreadors.

Hughes earned All-City and All-League honors for a second straight year, rushing for 1,557 yards and adding another 520 receiving in 13 games of action. He also had 49 tackles, five interceptions and two sacks as a defensive back.

Most recently Hughes wowed observers at the Beyond 2000 Football Camp in Ventura County, walking away from the camp in some people's eyes as the best overall performer from a group that featured Top 100 talents like wideouts Steve Smith and Mark Bradford.

Versatility is definitely one of his strengths, as Hughes could play running back, receiver or defensive back at the college level. He has great acceleration and vision and is a great competitor with natural instincts that can't be taught.

His skills have been catching the attention of colleges all over the West Coast. In May, Hughes received offers from both Washington and Cal, as well as phone calls from UCLA, Michigan State, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, ASU, Wisconsin, Nebraska and numerous others.

"Right now my favorites would be Washington, UCLA, Oregon, Michigan State and Cal," Hughes said.

"I think these schools made the cut because they have been recruiting me heavily and have shown that their programs can be successful."

Don't expect a decision to come down anytime soon from Hughes, as he'd like to wait until as close to Signing Day as he can to make his final college choice.

"The most important factors for me in choosing a college will be the anticipation of participation, the location, the weather and the academic programs," explains Hughes.

Academically speaking, Hughes should have no problem qualifying at the university of his choice. He currently maintains a 3.3 GPA and has scored a 940 on the SAT.

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