Commentary

LB Hughes commits, could grayshirt

Junior linebacker turns down offers from LSU, Baylor for opportunity to play at Texas

Updated: February 28, 2012, 2:30 PM ET
By Max Olson | HornsNation

AUSTIN, Texas -- Harker Heights' Naashon Hughes understandably was disappointed on Sunday afternoon.

He'd just found out that the only linebacker in Texas' 2013 recruiting class would not be him. Cypress Woods' Deoundrei Davis got the coveted offer and committed.

[+] EnlargeNaashon Hughes
Max Olson/ESPN.comJunior linebacker Naashon Hughes had offers from LSU, South Carolina and Baylor before choosing Texas.

On his Twitter page, Hughes voiced his frustration. Guess I wasn't good enough, he wrote. Fans and friends reassured him, told him to not give up hope.

And then, in a twist he didn't see coming, Texas made its move Monday night.

Hughes is officially a member of the Longhorns' 2013 recruiting class, but that opportunity comes with a stipulation. Texas coaches will try to get him a scholarship offer before next February. If they can't, Hughes has agreed to take a grayshirt.

"His heart was in it, and that's the place he wanted to go," Harker Heights coach Mike Mullins said. "I think it was a very mature decision. He thought about it, definitely considered the other places, and that's what he ended up with."

The "other places" were serious offers from LSU, South Carolina and Baylor. But Hughes had to be a Longhorn, even if that meant making a sacrifice.

By grayshirting, Hughes would delay his enrollment and join the program on scholarship in January 2014. He would not be able to practice with the Longhorns during the 2013 season or enroll as a full-time student that fall.

"If they have something and it looks like he's going to get his offer before then, that's a possibility also," Mullins said.

The brother of Texas freshman tackle Camrhon Hughes, Naashon told HornsNation last week he can be a linebacker/safety hybrid in Texas' defensive scheme. At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, he brings more of the versatility and athleticism that UT coaches already have loaded up on in this 2013 class.

"He's got a lot of upside on that side of the ball," Mullins said. "He'll be more involved with us next year offensively. We're going to list him as an athlete, because he can put one more weight and play some tight end and wideout. Across the board, that makes you more marketable for [Texas]."

Hughes is Texas' 11th verbal commitment for its 2013 class and its fifth defender, joining a group that includes Davis and defensive linemen Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina), A'Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights) and Daeshon Hall (Lancaster, Texas/Lancaster).

Max Olson covers University of Texas football and recruiting for HornsNation.
Follow HornsNation's coverage on Twitter: @ESPNHornsNation

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