Camrhon Hughes: 2012 Texas Recruiting Spotlight

Vitals

Name: Camrhon Hughes*

Position: Offensive Tackle

Height: 6-6

Weight: 280

Speed: N/A

High School: Harker Heights

Rating (Rivals): Four out of five (5.8)

*Early enrollee

Offers

  • Texas (committed 2/26/2011)
  • Baylor
  • Notre Dame
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas A&M
  • Texas Tech

Overview/recruitment

It's not exactly a revelation to say that Junior Day commits fall into two categories -- the locks and the surprises. Nothing exactly earth-shattering there. But noting that Hughes was a lock to commit upon being offered by Texas essentially sums up his recruitment by the Longhorns. After Stacy Searels evaluated Hughes and decided that the big kid could play tackle at Texas, this one was all over.

At the time, I said that locking up Hughes early made sense while Searels and company pursued top in-state target Kennedy Estelle and a variety of out-of-state prospects. The former recruitment certainly came to fruition exactly as Texas wanted and though the Longhorns struck out with the out-of-state high school prospects, closing with Donald Hawkins will probably benefit the program more in the short term.

The commitment of Hughes as part of the 2012 class could also pay major dividends in the 2013 class, as teammate and fellow offensive lineman Darius James is among the top targets in the whole class for the Longhorns, and younger brother Naashon a Junior Day invitee who could receive an offer as an outside linebacker. Harker Heights isn't exactly the type of school that will become a productive pipeline on the level of a DeSoto or a Skyline, but every connection matters, especially in back-to-back classes.

Scouting Report

Camrhon Hughes Highlights (via 247SportsStudio)

ESPN evaluation ($):

Hughes is very athletic, demonstrating the ability to get downfield and out on front of plays with excellent results. Has the height and athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition; there is the need to add bulk to his frame over time. This prospect shows very good hip and ankle flexibility playing out of a three point stance. The balance and agility he plays with demonstrates his ability to play on his feet in space. Shows good initial quickness, fit and pad level when single blocking; at this stage of his development, explosion and playing strength will need to improve. Has the ability to set the edge and control defenders with his hands; is able to sustain due to his blocking bases and persistent leg drive. Although not yet capable of consistently knocking defenders off the ball this is a tough guy determined to finish blocks in an aggressive manner. This player has the athleticism to consistently get a hat on active 1st and 2nd level defenders. In time with added bulk along with improved upper body playing strength this lineman should be able to make all the required run blocks at the next level. His long arms and nimble feet should be assets in pass protection; can set, bend and slide to the deep set point; gets in trouble when leaning in and over extending with his initial punch; flashes good extension but all areas of hands use will need refinement. Hughes' growth potential and athleticism are positives. Depending how fast he adds bulk while improving his playing strength will determine when he begins to see meaningful playing time.

Instantly instant scouting report:

Physically, Hughes is a project and probably isn't a guy the Longhorns can ask to come in and contribute early. However, Hughes does a good job making plays on the perimeter in the wide receiver screen game and moves well for someone his size, with some ability to re-direct in space. Like most high school linemen, Hughes will have to work hard on his technique and gaining strength when he gets to Texas.

Well, that just about sums things up. The major point here is that Hughes has the feet to leave little question about his ability to eventually play tackle at Texas -- as long as he develops. If he can make gains in the strength program and work on the small aspects of becoming a complete offensive lineman, he could contribute within his first several years in the program, but in all likelihood, he won't break in to the rotation for a couple of years.

With Hughes as with someone like Alex Norman, there's some discrepancy in where the services rank the big Killeen-area product -- Scout has him as a four-star player and the 10th tackle overall, while ESPN ranks him 35th at his position. The difference, perhaps? Scout saw Hughes at the Semper Fi Bowl and eventually named him one of the top performers for either team offensively ($):

Hughes got better as the week went on and looked very good in this game. Athletic for a big man, Hughes has good feet and long arms, making him an ideal pass blocker but showed some nasty in the run game.

The quick adjustment to the increased athleticism in the all-star game setting bodes well for Hughes as he transitions to college as an early enrollee. And considering what happened with Josh Cochran last year, it's clear that strength isn't always everything, even at the college level, and that with some decent coaching and a little bit of luck, a few rare players can significantly outpace their expectations.

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