"When I went to football camp, they looked at my long snapping," the well-spoken Hughes told BlueGoldNews.com. "After they watched me, they asked me if I would be interested in coming to WVU.
"They have a long snapper (Scott Fleming) who will be a senior next year, so I will walk on and redshirt my first year. Then, I'll have four years left to compete for the long snapping job and for a scholarship. I also will look at tight end after a couple of years."
Hughes has racked up solid numbers both on and off the field for Princeton High School, and his comittment to WVU is something of a steal at this point.
"Ever since I went up for junior day, I was really impressed," Hughes said of his visits to the WVU campus. "I liked it a lot. And when I went to camp, I got a great view of how things would be on the field.
Herb Hand is a great coach, and he knows what he is talking about. He's a personable guy, but he has great tenacity. I like that a lot. And he knows how players react under pressure."
As a tight end, Hughes has snared 20 passes for more than 400 yards and 15 touchdowns in his career, and also plays defensive end for the Tigers. As a sophomore, he earned Special Honorable Mention All Conference honors, and improved that showing last year as a junior with first team all state and all conference selections at tight end.
Even with those awards and numbers backing him, Hughes knows that it's his long snapping abilities that earned him notice from college coaches.
"My uncle (Brian Johnson) took me to his junior high school prctices when I was in little league," Hughes recalled. "I saw some guys long snapping, and I though 'Hmmm, what's that?'". My uncled told me they were long snapping, so I tried it. I was good at it, and so we worked on it more.
"I've gradually improved on it every year. My long snapping coach, Chris Pedigo, is really good. He's helped me a lot."
Another thing that has propelled Hughes to the top has been his impressive work ethic. He hasn't missed any sort of conditing, practice or game in four seasons.
"You name it, running, lifiting, practice, games, I haven't missed a day," Hughes said.
Hughes is the top weightlifter on his team this year, and at 6-3 and 230 pounds, he shows the results of his efforts. He has been a member of Princeton's strength club since his sophomore year. Membership in that club requires lifting prescribed weight amounts in squats, bench presses and deadlifts, and Hughes has reliably been on the membership rolls since he became a Tiger. Among other weights, he sports an impressive 500 pound deadlift mark.
Hughes accomplishments in the classroom are just as impressive. He has a 4.0 GPA, and despite an SAT score that puts him well past the qualifying mark, plans to take the standardized test again. He's considering majoring in either biology or pharmacy in college.
Hughes has been contacted by a number of schools, including Virginia Tech and Boston College. He also received an invitation to Michigan's football camp, and received heavy interest from a number of smaller schools, including Richmond and Appalachian State. However, no matter what inducements might be forthcoming from other schools, Hughes is solid with his choice.
"It's West Virginia."