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Hudson’s next stop is Auburn

By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY

Daily News

For Troup High’s Kobe Hudson, there was no waiting period when he arrived on campus as a freshman.

Hudson had a touchdown catch in his very first high-school game, and he’s been making big plays ever since.

With his time as a high-school player at end, Hudson is ready to tackle the next stage of his football life, and once again he’s hoping to make an instant impact with a team.

Hudson verbally committed to Auburn University more than a year ago, and he made it official on Wednesday when he signed his letter of intent during a ceremony in the school’s new indoor practice facility.

Hudson will be an early enrollee at Auburn, meaning he’ll get to go through spring practice with the team.

Hudson came to Troup intent on playing as a freshman, and he’ll work as hard as he can to make that a reality at Auburn as well.

“I’m going to Auburn with that same mindset,” Hudson said. “I ain’t going to let anybody stop me from achieving my goals.”

At Troup, Hudson was a versatile player who made an impact wherever and whenever he was on the field.

During his first two seasons at Troup Hudson was primarily a wide receiver, and he put up massive numbers while catching passes from Montez Crowe.

Hudson moved to quarterback for his junior season, and all he did was lead Troup to the state semifinals while becoming the Class AAAA player of the year.

Hudson remained at quarterback for his senior season and once again put up gaudy numbers while helping Troup reach the state playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Hudson also played defensive back at times over the past four years, and his interception return for a touchdown was the biggest play in a massive victory over Sandy Creek in 2016.

“You cannot over-estimate what a kid like Kobe Hudson means to this community and Troup County High School,” said Tanner Glisson, Troup’s head coach for the past five years.

Hudson, not surprisingly, had ample options when it came time to choose a college home.

In the end, Auburn won that recruiting battle, and head coach Gus Malzahn was a key reason why.

“For me, I wanted to have a great relationship with the head coach,” Hudson said. “Me and Gus Malzahn, we built a great relationship. He’s like another father to me.”

A lot of times it’s the assistant coaches who take charge in recruiting a player, but with Hudson, Malzahn left nothing to chance.

“Gus Malzahn, he recruited Kobe personally, and he made it known from the very beginning that he was going to recruit Kobe personally,” Glisson said. “When a head coach does that it’s real important, and I know it was to the family.”

Hudson, fully aware of the challenge of playing football in the SEC, is ready to do whatever it takes to succeed, and that includes taking direction from the coaching staff.

“If you want to be great, you’ve got to get coached,” Hudson said. “If you want to be good, listen to your coaches, and make them push you hard.”

As Troup, one of the people responsible for getting the best out of Hudson was Glisson.

Glisson is grateful not only for Hudson’s willingness to be coached, but to the parents Keith and Dafinn Hudson on their understanding of what needed to happen.

“You don’t find it every day that a family will allow a kid to be coached really hard,” Glisson said. “And we were pretty up-front that it wasn’t all going to be roses, especially when you’re the star and you’re held more accountable than anybody else. But this family allows him to be coached really hard, and I’m indebted for that. Any coach in America will feel my passion with that. That’s a real big deal. A lot of times parents these days and players look for easy ways out, and sometimes there’s no easy way. I’m real appreciative for a family of that high character, and I know Gus is real happy to get a family like that, too. I hope they’re always a part of the Troup family.”

For his part, Hudson believes the coaching he received at Troup helped him realize his potential.

“If it wasn’t for G, a lot of stuff I achieved, I couldn’t have achieved,” Hudson said. “He came to work with the same mindset every day. Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. He didn’t accept nothing but my best every day. When I didn’t have my best, he’d get on me. We butted heads a little bit, but we know it’s all love. At the end of the day, he wants me to be my best, and realize my full potential. That’s why I want to thank him for pushing me as hard as he did.”

Hudson also gives a lot of credit to his family, as well as his teammates, for providing motivation to succeed.

“I couldn’t have done the things I did without them,” Hudson said. “They pushed me. Sometimes, football isn’t always the easy sport. They pushed me to keep going. I went out there with them boys and couldn’t let my team down, so I went out there and worked hard and just kept going.”

As Hudson looks ahead to the next stage of his football journey, he’ll join an Auburn team that has lost three games this season, but they were all to teams ranked in the top 10.

Hudson wants not only the best for himself, but also for his new team.

“I’m looking forward to winning an SEC championship, winning a national championship,” Hudson said.