Sunday, January 15, 2017

Hughes needs time to get Jackson State football right

JACKSON, Mississippi -- When Tony Hughes left Mississippi State to take the head coaching position at Jackson State, he didn’t think he was looking at a complete rebuild.

There was talent on the roster. He inherited a solid group of linebackers and defensive ends and a quality veteran defensive backfield left over from the Rick Comegy era.

Hughes only had 45 days to pull together his first signing class, but he still found a way to make some noise. He signed 31 players, including 28 high school seniors, highlighted by North Pike three-star quarterback Juwan Adams.

But everything since that day has been a learning experience for Hughes, who will officially enter his second year on the job when he wraps up his 2017 recruiting class in two weeks.

Hughes has said he wants to build the program from the ground up — signing at least 25 high school players every year. That sounds great to fans, alumni and administrators within the athletic department, but few know just how big a task that is proving to be.


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