The other finalists are Everette Brown (Florida State), Jammie Kirlew(Indiana), Aaron Maybin (Penn State), Brian Orakpo (Texas) and Nick Reed (Oregon).
Hughes, also one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the best defensive player in the country, leads the nation with 14 sacks and six forced fumbles. He's also in the top 10 with 18.5 tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. Additionally, the junior from Sugar Land, Texas, has two interceptions with one returned for a touchdown.
A three-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week, Hughes is one of 15 "Players to Watch" (and one of just five defensive players) for the Walter Camp Football Foundation's 2008 Player of the Year Award. He was also one of 15 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player.
Hughes earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation and the FWAA/Bronko Nagurski Trophy after his four sacks and two forced fumbles in a 32-7 win over then-No. 8 BYU.
Hughes anchors a TCU defense that is ranked No. 1 in the nation in run defense (48.7 yards per game) while placing second in total defense (215.1 yards per game), scoring defense (10.9 points per game) and sacks (41). The Frogs are fourth in pass defense efficiency (96.1).
The final vote for the 2008 Hendricks Award will be concluded Monday with the winner announced Dec. 10.