On the hoof, Naashon Hughes is one of the more impressive players that you'll see in the CenTex, a long, athletic-looking player with speed and some explosiveness. Standing around 6-foot-3 or 6-4, he has good bulk and probably weighs his listed 215, but in a way that leaves him looking like a bigger wide receiver. He has plenty of room to add good weight, but with the way he moves, I'm not sure you want him to get bigger than, say, 230 or so.
Hughes has great speed for his size, and excels when he's in chase situations, when there's no trash to sift through, when the game is broken down to its most basic defensive value: hunt and chase. Early in the game, Hughes came free on a blitz and showcased his outstanding acceleration in turning on the jets and pounding the Stony Point quarterback as he was throwing, forcing an incompletion. And that same pursuit was on display at various points during the game. Hughes runs like a safety in a linebacker's body, and he chases like one. He also has some power to him, especially in the short area. He hits well and physically, and he isn't afraid to square up on a lineman and deliver a blow to clog things up.
As a player in the box, he still appears to have some learning to do. Last year, he played more of a safety-type role, and this year, he was up in the box a bunch (he also played some safety when needed). He could use some work at getting through blocks, and his instincts when up in the box aren't quite what they could be. Interestingly enough, I didn't notice him on special teams. I think he'll be an outstanding special teams player at the next level.
Still, those things can be learned, and it's hard to find a better athletic framework with which to work. You have to have that base first, and Hughes has that, and you can teach the rest. Because of that, it's safe to say that Hughes's best football is still in front of him.
Longhorn Digest was at Harker Heights and Round Rock Stony Point to take in Texas commitment Naashon Hughes. Check out his scouting report inside.