« Football 2009

Jerry Hughes

School

TCU

Position
Defensive End
Major
Communications

Classroom

Hughes is on pace to graduate in four years with a degree in communications. When asked why he chose to return for his senior year instead of heading to the NFL, his immediate response was “I want to earn my degree.” While attending the Bronko Nagurski Trophy banquet in North Carolina in December, where he was one of five finalists for National Defensive Player of the Year, Hughes never lost focus on his academics. He submitted an on-line quiz for one of his classes just moments before the banquet. He received a score of 100 on it.

Character

Hughes represents what’s right about intercollegiate athletics - a student-athlete on pace to graduate in four years and an All-American on the playing field. Hughes is the first person to volunteer for any opportunity to spend time with kids. He has maintained relationships with area youth long after any commitment to them has been fulfilled. He has no ego and is truly humbled by all the accolades he has received.

Community

Hughes has served as a role model for area youth at the Fortress Youth Development Center in Fort Worth. He has also been a featured speaker at elementary and middle schools in Fort Worth and his hometown (Sugar Land, Texas) as well as a regular visitor to summer youth football camps. After being introduced to the Fortress Youth Development Center through a service learning class at TCU, he continued to volunteer his time to be a positive example for underprivileged kids. He sought out kids who were not social and felt like outcasts. At the Walter Camp All-America weekend in January 2009, Hughes was praised by Walter Camp officials for the time he spent with autograph requests at the Fan Fest. He went above and beyond what was asked of him in volunteering to make sure everyone in a long line was accommodated with pictures and conversation.

Competition

Hughes was a consensus All-American last season and one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, recognizing the National Defensive Player of the Year. He led TCU to a No. 7 ranking in the final polls by the Associated Press and USA Today. Hughes topped the nation in sacks (15) and forced fumbles (6) while also ranking in the top 10 in tackles for loss (19.5) and fumble recoveries (3). He also had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown. Hughes earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors from multiple outlets after his four sacks led the Horned Frogs to a 32-7 win over BYU.