Toledo Central Catholic’s James Hudson may be a the top his game going into the OHSAA semi-final game against Trotwood Madison this Saturday.
James Hudson, listed 6’5-295, has been starting at offensive tackle and defensive line for the Irish since his sophomore year. In fact, my best memory of him then was against Lima Senior. Playing DE, he ran down RB’s and controlled the LOS.
Last year, as a junior, he did not “wow” me, when I watched him play. Still big(maybe too big) and did not play every down. Still athletic, but I just did not see-it.
Last summer, a little of the same at college camps. The problem well could have been that the BCS schools did not see him as a DL guy. Almost every school said “no-brainer” on the offensive line. Just okay as a defender. James saw himself as a DL guy, period.
Final choice came down to Michigan – Michigan State. He announced that he was committing to the Wolverines.
Seeing him for the first time last Saturday, my first comment – “How much weight have you lost?” Later, I found out that he has re-distributed his weight. He sure looks good.
On the field, he was again playing both ways. Still dominating on the DL. Still leading the way for one of the best backs ever in the city – Michael Warren.
Really athletic. Strong. Good bender. Good initial quickness. Stays with his block on offense. On the DL he has the same initial quickness. Uses his hands to separate from the blocker. Defensive tackle will be his starting point at Michigan.
I am probably as guilty as the rest, in liking him on the OL first. Like his basketball feet. Like his big powerful athletic frame. But, he needs the chance to play DL.
The most impressing thing for me with James is his work ethic. About half way through last season , he bought into being the best that he could be. Started working harder and playing harder. That attitude is evident going into the 14th week of this season.
Always believe that one reason that a person works hard is to “prove people wrong.” Not necessarily a chip on the shoulder, but just prove people wrong.
James Hudson III is the real deal. Enough ability, enough athleticism, enough toughness, and enough swagger to make it on the DL or, maybe as an offensive guard. Tremendous potential at OG, but I have been wrong before. Either side of the ball – he will not go wrong.