Ask Khaleke Hudson what position he plays and the McKeesport (Pa.) standout will give you an all-encompassing answer. He’s a football player.
“I can play running back, slot receiver, linebacker, safety, kick return, and punt return,” said Hudson. "I’m really versatile. I can play any position you put me at. I just want to get on the field and help my team any way I can."
That jack-of-all-trades ability was evident in the 6-1, 200-pounder’s stats this season. Hudson finished his final high school campaign with 1,118 yards and 17 touchdowns rushing, and 219 yards and five touchdowns receiving. Meanwhile he was just as impactful on the defensive side of the ball, registering 60 tackles and three interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. It was a showing that lived up to his billing as Scout.com’s No. 1 player in the East region and showed why over 20 Power Five programs have extended him scholarship offers. Thursday, Hudson narrowed his list of contenders to four: Penn State, Pittsburgh, UCLA, and Michigan. Michigan is the only one that hasn't yet hosted the four-star athlete on an official visit, but he has seen and heard enough from afar for the Wolverines to make the cut.
“They’re a great team, they’ve got a great coaching staff and it’s a great opportunity there,” Hudson said regarding Michigan. “The academics there are outstanding. I could see myself there for the next four years playing football and getting my degree.”
The point man in pitching those Maize & Blue virtues is defensive backs coach Mike Zordich. He along with headman Jim Harbaugh have clearly made favorable impressions.
“They’re both cool coaches,” he said. “They really know how to interact with you. They seem like excellent coaches that know what they’re doing, they can help you succeed in life as a man in college, and (they can) help you get to the next level."
Getting a better feel for the other aspects of Michigan – like the players, facilities, campus environment etc. – will be Hudson’s goal when visits Ann Arbor January 15th. He has already assessed those attributes for his other favorites.
Penn State – “They’re a really nice school, they’re really close to home, and I’m real cool with their coaching staff,” said Hudson. “I’ve got a good understanding with those guys and the fans there are out of control. It’s crazy! Everything about the school I like. I can also see myself there also.”
Pitt – “It’s is like 20 minutes away from home,” he added. “I really like it there because my family could come to every game, and the fan support would be really nice. (The decision factors) all just the same… the academic part, the environment… I’m really use the environment around here. It’s another school I could see myself at.”
UCLA – “It’s real different there,” Hudson said. “That’s what I like about it. I could make a name for myself out there because I would be the first person from McKeesport to go all the way out to UCLA. That’s like a big deal. Their academics are some of the best in the country, the network there is real good, and even if you don’t make it to the next level you’ve still got contacts that can help you succeed in life.”
After returning home from Michigan Hudson plans to compare and contrast his finalists in an effort to determine the best fit. And he plans to take his time figuring that out.
“I don’t have a day when I’m going to announce,” said Hudson. “A lot of things are going to play (into the decision)… the school, the coaches, can I see myself there, early playing time, the environment. Everything is going to play a role.”