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WATCH: Texas DE Naashon Hughes wants to take the next step

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“I don’t know if he can play football, but the kids seem to gravitate towards him.”

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns were back on the practice field Tuesday for the first time in the Tom Herman era, and the Longhorn Network was there as well to compile a feature on defensive end Naashon Hughes.

Check it out here:

Hughes, a 6-4, 237-pound senior from Harker Heights, was one of only two players Herman singled out as a leader.

“I think probably the other vocal leader right now that stands out is Naashon (Hughes),” Herman said. “The kids listen to him. Again, I don’t know if he can play football, but the kids seem to gravitate towards him, and he seems to be very comfortable expressing himself in front of the team, as well.”

Hughes himself also had good things to say about the first practice session.

“Today I think we did pretty good,” he said. “I liked the effort to the ball. Without that you can’t really do anything. The effort to the ball was great. Communication could get picked up but that’ll come with time. We’re getting there.”

Hughes said he tries to do for younger players what was done for him in previous years: Open his arms to them and show how things are done at the college level.

“Communicate more, see if I can make a couple plays here and there and just get the younger guys helped out because they haven’t been out there,” he said. “I set high expectations for myself as well as the defense as a whole. This year I plan to take the next step for myself and for the defense.”