Dallas Colleges: Camrhon Hughes

Big 12 pre-spring position rankings: OL

February, 12, 2015
Feb 12
With spring ball a month away, we've been ranking position groups in the Big 12. These evaluations are based on past performance, future potential and quality depth. We continue this series with offensive line:

1. Baylor: All five starters return for the Bears, notably All-American left tackle Spencer Drango, who spurned the NFL draft to return for his senior season. The majority of the entire two-deep, in fact, is back, as well, including right guard Desmine Hilliard, who missed much of last year with a wrist injury. Despite being a two-year starter, Hilliard will have to fight to reclaim his starting job, as Jarell Broxton slotted in nicely in place of him during the second half of the season. This unit has a superstar in Drango, plenty of experience and a ton of depth.

2. TCU: The TCU offensive line was among the most-improved units in the league last year, setting the tone up front for the nation's second-highest scoring offense. Left tackle Tayo Fabuluje is gone, but the rest of the unit returns intact, including center Joey Hunt and right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who were both second-team All-Big 12 performers in 2014.

3. Texas Tech: Texas Tech encountered all kinds of problems last year, but offensive line wasn't one of them. All-Big 12 left tackle Le'Raven Clark was terrific protecitng the blindside of quarterbacks Pat Mahomes and Davis Webb, as Tech allowed only one sack per 43 pass attempts, which was among the best rates in the country. Center Jared Kaster and guards Alfredo Morales and Baylen Brown will all be three-year starters.

4. Oklahoma State: The Cowboys were dreadful along the offensive line for much of last year. But the group rapidly rebounded late, due in part to the healthy comeback of Zachary Crabtree at right tackle. Crabtree will be able to stick on the right side, too, thanks to the mid-semester arrival of transfer Victor Salako, who started two years for UAB and is expected to man left tackle for the Pokes. Oklahoma State also should be deeper overall with junior college transfers Brandon Pertile and Matt Kellerman joining returning starters Michael Wilson, Jesse Robinson and center Paul Lewis. Mike Gundy still needs to hire a position coach for this group with Bob Connelly bolting for USC.

5. Oklahoma: The Sooners were hit hard by graduation with longtime lynchpin tackles Daryl Williams and Tyrus Thompson both departing. Center Ty Darlington is back; so is veteran guard Nila Kasitati. Oklahoma also signed the nation's No. 1 juco guard, Jamal Danley, to play alongside them. Tackle is the big concern, but the Sooners are hopeful that either Orlando Brown Jr. or Kenyon Frison will be ready to step up after redshirting last year.

6. Kansas State: B.J. Finney was a four-year fixture at center for the K-State offensive line and will be dearly missed. But the Wildcats return the rest of the offensive line, including standout left tackle Cody Whitehair, who should take over for Finney as group leader. The Wildcats need guard Boston Stiverson to make a full return from the leg injury he suffered in the Valero Alamo Bowl. They also need more consistent pass protection from their right tackles.

7. Texas: The Longhorns got better up front as the season wore on, but this is still a unit with a bunch of questions. Left guard Sedrick Flowers was the only linemen to start every game, as Texas tinkered with six different combinations over the course of the season. Center Taylor Doyle and right guard Kent Perkins should retain their starting gigs, but junior college transfers Brandon Hodges and Tristan Nickelson, as well as early enrollee freshman Connor Williams, all have a chance to overtake Marcus Hutchins, Camrhon Hughes and Jake Raulerson at the tackle spots.

8. Iowa State: Left tackle Brock Dagel missing most of last season with a knee injury could be a silver lining for the Cyclones in 2015. Jake Campos got valuable experience along the line, including left tackle. As a result, the Cyclones should be in good shape on the bookends, provided Dagel is 100 percent. Guard Daniel Burton is one of the more underrated players in the league. Cole Anderson and Kory Kodanko, who both redshirted last year, have a good shot of joining the rotation.

9. West Virginia: The Mountaineers weren't great up front last year, and now they've graduated their two best blockers in guards Quinton Spain and Mark Glowinski. Tyler Orlosky bring stability on the inside at center, but tackles Adam Pankey and Marquis Lucas need to take a step forward in their second seasons as full-time starters.

10. Kansas: The Jayhawks don't have any difference-makers up front, at least not yet. But Jacob Bragg, one of the top center recruits in the country last year, has a chance to become one in time. Joe Gibson and Junior Visinia return along the interior. So does rising senior tackle Larry Mazyck, who may be asked to swing to the left side.

Burnt Orange Breakdown: Camrhon Hughes

July, 2, 2014
Before Texas begins its first season under Charlie Strong, we're taking a deep dive into all the talent he inherits in 2014. Our Burnt Orange Breakdown series takes a closer look at each scholarship player returning this fall and what we can expect from him. We're going down the roster from No. 1 Shiro Davis all the way to No. 99 Desmond Jackson.

No. 71 Camrhon Hughes
Sophomore offensive tackle

Recruitment rewind: Hughes, a four-star tackle from Harker Heights, Texas, turned down offers from Baylor, Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech and chose Texas during a junior day visit in 2011. He enrolled early in the spring of 2012 and was joined at Texas by his younger brother, linebacker Naashon Hughes, after his first year in the program.

Career so far: Hughes has been a Longhorn for two years and has not appeared in a game. He redshirted in 2012 after sustaining a torn ACL during a pickup basketball game that summer, and Hughes did not appear on the depth chart at any point last season. He was a scout-team contributor and did not start on either offensive line in the spring game scrimmage.

Best-case scenario for 2014: Hughes is probably a third-string offensive tackle at this point and will try to work his way into the rotation as a backup to either Desmond Harrison at left tackle or Kennedy Estelle at right tackle. At 6-foot-7 and 317 pounds, he's certainly not lacking for the size you want on the outside. If he can earn a backup job and play a good amount of snaps in relief of the starters, that would be a great start.

Worst-case scenario for 2014: Texas has not been able to find much reliable depth at offensive line behind its starters in recent years, and you'd hope that trend will end under respected offensive line coach Joe Wickline. Hughes is one of those players who can get lost in the mix, backing up younger linemen, if he doesn't make a step in the right direction this fall.

Future expectations: Hughes has plenty of time to get his Texas playing career back on track, with three seasons of eligibility remaining, and the truth is he wouldn't have broken into the veteran-heavy lineup last season even if he were fully healthy and ready to go. The Longhorns are probably going to have a real question mark at left tackle in 2015 after Harrison graduates, and that's probably the job Hughes should focus on landing.
AUSTIN, Texas -- The thin burnt orange offensive line that has broken apart and allowed Texas to be pushed from good to bad is supposed to be fixed this time around.

Stacy Searels, who has long bemoaned the lack of talent, bodies and blocking ability of his charges along that line, has earned the praise of Texas coach Mack Brown, not only for his patience but his persistence in rebuilding that line.

[+] EnlargeStacy Searels
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsTexas offensive line coach Stacy Searels finally has enough depth in his group to have a two-deep.
"He didn't know until he got here there were only seven scholarship guys that were going through spring practice," Brown said. "He has done a tremendous job of reloading our offensive line."

Reloading might not be the right word to use there, as such a term leads one to believe the line was recently loaded. It has been several seasons since that argument could be made. Texas hasn’t produced an NFL lineman since 2008. Prior to that, Brown’s program had seven offensive linemen selected over a nine-year span -- a healthy number and one that exceeds the production of Alabama and Oklahoma over the same time period.

So Searels has been more pouring a foundation than restocking the shelves. And now the time has come to find out if there are cracks or if Texas is ready to build on a solid base.

Heading into 2013, the offensive line has all five starters returning. Four of those players were also starters on the 2011 offensive line with the fifth, Donald Hawkins, coming in as a junior college transfer after that season. Those starters did have less than stellar performances throughout 2012, however, and, quite frankly, were shoved around by TCU, Oklahoma, Kansas State and a few other teams.

Texas, with its loaded backfield, averaged 3.4 rushing yards per attempt against the six ranked opponents it played in 2012. Against TCU, Oklahoma and Kansas State, the Longhorns failed to reach 100 yards rushing and averaged 3.0 rushing yards per attempt.

Safe to assume those type numbers have not exactly locked down a starting job for every player that started along that offensive line. To that end, Texas does have a potential new tackle waiting in the wings in the form of junior college transfer Desmond Harrison.

His arrival should signal some shifts along the line at every position, save for that of Josh Cochran’s at the opposite tackle spot.

"He (Cochran) is a tackle, so you'd leave him there," Brown said. "But the fact that Trey Hopkins has played everywhere; Donald Hawkins could play different places, guard or tackle, just gives you a lot more flexibility for depth. [Sedrick] Flowers would be a center or guard. You wouldn't move him outside. But you have flexibility and you have to look at that great freshman class coming in, too, to see if any of those guys are ready to play."

Texas signed five offensive linemen in its 2013 class and could play at least one of those. Darius James, who was ranked No. 17 in the ESPN 150, appears to be the odds on favorite to be that player. He could fill in at the guard spot and also has some center in his background.

Given that Texas wants to average about 84 plays per game, it is not unreasonable to believe that up to 10 linemen could see time in each game. To believe that Texas had that many linemen even available in the past would have been a ludicrous assumption.

Even last season Texas could barely go beyond six offensive linemen. But the emergence of Kennedy Estelle (tackle) Flowers (guard), the improved health of Camrhon Hughes (tackle), Harrison’s arrival, as well as James’, does make a deeper rotation at least a plausible thought.

"I really think that we can have two-deep and that will be the first time we have been two-deep around here in a long time," Brown said. "And I think we are -- I know we are headed in the right direction with our depth in the offensive line."

Two sports at UT? Better be careful

June, 28, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- In the wake of the Ricky Seals-Jones decommitment, Texas coach Mack Brown let it be known he was not opposed to any of his players participating in another sport.

“… it would not be a problem at all,” he said.

Yeah, but talk is cheap. For real evidence of the coach’s stance on pick and rolls as opposed to blocking and tackling, look no further than Camrhon Hughes. The soon-to-be freshman backup offensive lineman took a severe step back in his progress by tearing up his knee playing hoops last month. OK, so maybe Hughes is not exactly on the same level as Seals-Jones when it comes to excelling at two sports.
[+] EnlargeBoone
AP Photo/Bill KostrounAaron Boone tore his ACL playing basketball and was then released by the Yankees.

But the point is, at least Brown allowed Hughes to play two sports, even if one is at a rec center not the Frank Erwin Center.

“I talked to my buddies across the country that are coaching, they want to all pull [the players] off Twitter, Facebook, not let them play basketball, not let them do this, do that,’ Brown said. “They are human beings, and they're kids.”

They are also valuable commodities. Texas spends more than $550,000 putting together a football recruiting class. In Hughes’ class of 28, that is roughly $20,000 spent on each player signed. Once the player is in school, Texas spends $42,000 per year.

That is a sizable investment even for a school with a $150 million budget. In Hughes’ case, the return on the investment has now been delayed or even possibly scuttled altogether.

Remember Ivan Williams? Brown does. The running back ruptured his patella tendon playing pickup basketball.

“It really curtailed his career,” Brown said. “He went to fullback instead of tailback after that.”

Williams played in 23 games as a freshman and sophomore before the injury and played in 15 after the injury. Still pickup basketball is a fixture in many of the players’ day. Tweets are sent out looking for players, times arranged and fun is had by all. That is until someone goes down like Hughes did.

Then the fun comes to a crashing end. In Hughes’ case all 6-foot-7, 320 pounds of it.

“I think Camrhon's dad said, ‘Medicine ball is the only ball you'll be picking up in your future,’” Brown said after the injury. “Parents usually handle (the restrictions placed on their kids.) We just tell them to be careful.”

That’s really all they can do. Despite the fact that Texas invests more than $100,000 in a four-year player’s career, these are amateur athletes. Pro athletes often have clauses in their contracts restricting them from playing pickup basketball. For example, Aaron Boone of the Yankees tore his ACL and was then cut. Chad Pennington tore his as a free agent and saw his stock go down. Terrell Suggs has vehemently denied tearing his Achilles playing hoops despite eyewitness accounts to the contrary. All of those professionals potentially have money to lose.

Hughes might too some day. But, right now, he’s just a freshman doing what most other freshmen football players do, run the court in his spare time. If Brown were to forbid the players from playing basketball, it very well could cause some strife among the team. And it could certainly be used against him in recruiting.

So for now, Texas and Brown will just have to live with the possibility that injuries might happen on the hardwood. Like he said, players are “human beings and they’re kids.”

They are all kids who are more than welcome to play two sports at Texas.

Texas OL Camrhon Hughes tears ACL

June, 4, 2012
Texas freshman offensive lineman Camrhon Hughes suffered a torn ACL in his right knee playing pick-up basketball, the school announced in a news release. He will have reconstructive surgery and will redshirt the 2012 season.

Hughes, who checks in at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, enrolled in January to get a head start with his football career, and his chances of factoring into the depth chart increased with the recent news of Paden Kelley's decision to quit football. But now he'll be relegated to rehab and the hopes of a full recovery by the time preparation for the 2013 season rolls around.

Hughes, whose brother Naashon Hughes (Harker Heights, Texas/Harker Heights) is a 2013 Texas commitment, was one of four offensive linemen the Longhorns signed in 2012.

This is the second stroke of bad luck that has come his way in the past months. His house burned down in the early morning hours of Nov. 10 while he and his family were asleep inside. Everyone was able to escape unharmed.