Get it? Lighting the fuse…Hughes… Eh whatever, I tried. I am referring to Texas Longhorns linebacker Naashon Hughes.
Hughes stood out for the Longhorns in the Red River Showdown against the Oklahoma Sooners, tallying five tackles. He received positive feedback from Mack Brown’s replacement, Charlie Strong, at the press conference following the game.
According to Orangebloods.com, Strong stated, “In that game Saturday, he’s probably one of our brightest spots on defense. . . He played unbelievable.”
The Longhorns appear to be in a period of change, as Strong has began cleaning house in an attempt to revive the program. Hughes is emerging as a leader in the process.
Anyone from Texas, whether you are a Longhorns fan or not, knows that The University of Texas is not accustomed to being in the position they are currently in. Austin’s pride and joy is looking to get back to being the best team in the state and competing for national championships every year, like we are all used to seeing.
Campus Sports caught up with Naashon for a few questions.
How have things changed since Charlie Strong took over?
Naashon Hughes: Things have changed a little. Mainly just the rules are enforced a lot stricter now.
What role do you see yourself in? Are you a leader?
Hughes: Mainly as a hard-worker and a leader. I consider myself a leader mostly by example.
What was the teams reaction when David Ash gave the game up? How mush is the team buying into Tyrone Swoopes?
Hughes: We basically knew it was going to be hard for him to come back after having multiple concussions, but the team believes in Tyrone as the QB and we all are buying in right now.
What do you guys need to do to improve going forward?
Hughes: All phases need to improve as we continue on with the season. Offense, Defense, and Special Teams.
What is the goal for the rest of the season?
Hughes: Just continue to get better and get a few wins under our belt.
How is it playing with your brother and Darius James, two guys you grew up with and played with in high school?
Hughes: Playing with them is great because I get to play with my friends from high school in college. Not many people get to say that. Plus, this makes it easy on my mom during game day.
What is your favorite football memory? Walk me through that play.
Hughes: Probably making the game-winning tackle during the Ellison game. They threw a toss out to my side and I came through untouched and made the tackle.
Who has had the biggest influence on you?
Hughes: Probably my dad. He was my main influence growing up.
How do you feel about Texas not being the best program in Texas right now? (Referring to record and ranking)
Hughes: I still think we are the best program in Texas. Honestly, if we play up to our potential, we are the best.
Finally, what does it mean to be a Texas Longhorn? What made you want to be one and what would you tell recruits thinking about coming there?
Hughes: I think being a Longhorn is about being a part of a tradition and working hard every year to compete in a National Championship game.
Look for No. 40 to flash across your screen during the back end of this season. Hughes is proving to be a staple piece in rebuilding the most winningest program in Texas history.
*Section Photo credit to AP Photo,Austin American-Statesman, Ricardo B. Brazziell; Featured Photo (above) credit to Mike Simons,Tulsa World.