A high school quarterback and two-time state champion - Hughes rushed for seven touchdowns in the title game to cap his undefeated senior season - Hughes drew interest from Florida and Ohio State but committed to North Carolina State to stay close to home. After one season, Hughes left NC State due to an off-field incident and suspension. After a stint at Garden City Community College, where Hughes was an All-American, he attempted to enroll at South Carolina but was not permitted due to a deadline for paperwork. In the midst of 2017 fall camp, Hughes enrolled at UCF and became a star in the secondary while also earning All-American honors as a returner.
Hughes anchored the secondary, making 44 tackles, breaking up 11 passes and intercepting four, returning one for a TD. Proved a gamebreaker in the return game with two kickoff returns for scores and a punt return for a TD. Hughes opted to enter the 2018 NFL Draft with the expectation he was a top 50 pick.
Hughes might not be as polished as other cornerbacks in this class, but there is no doubting his ability and gamebreaking skills on defense and in the return game. He projects as a solid NFL player if he can iron out his weaknesses.
Scouts aren't crazy about his footwork and his technique, nailing him for surrendering inside position too easily, although that's something which could be corrected with coaching and limited on-field work. Because of his vision and burst, some teams rate him as a top-end safety. Hughes appears to be at his best in press coverage and is capable of supporting the run. His kick return skills add plenty to his game and could make him a fit for a team that needs an extra cover guy and a return man.
--Field Level Media
Career Defensive Stats
Career Returning Stats
|Year||Team||G||Punt Returns||Yds||Avg||TDs||Kick Returns||Yds||Avg||TDs|