After being an afterthought on a talented Washington Huskies defense that included bonafide NFL prospects like nose tackle Danny Shelton, linebackers Shaq Thompson and Hau’oli Kikaha, and cornerback Marcus Peters, defensive end Andrew Hudson is ready to make a name for himself, and that process begins at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in Carson, California.
At 6’3”, 246 pounds, Hudson, native of Redlands, California, may look undersized for his position, but there’s no doubt he makes a big impact on the field. In his first extensive action in 2012 as a sophomore, Hudson recorded 6.5 sacks in 13 games, but only played in eight games the following season and did not register a sack.
Hudson came back with a vengeance this season, garnering 12.5 sacks in 13 games on his way to being named Honorable Mention All-Pac-12, and helping Washington finish second in the nation in sacks with 52. The young pass-rusher who is a member of the American team revealed in his talk with Pro Player Insiders’ Emma Roll that he has enjoyed the week of practice leading up to the game in his home state on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s been a fun week,” said Hudson. “We’ve definitely been going with practices and learning the new defense and meeting the scouts. It’s been fun getting to know the people we are playing against.”
Hudson also said it was fun to go up against rival players, though still hasn’t been able to go up against Pac-12 rival UCLA offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche, now a teammate of his on the America squad.
“I’m waiting,” said Hudson.
As for the coaches for the game, Hudson said that the defensive line coaches, former NFL players Dwaine Board (American) and Jeff Zgonina (National) have been “great to learn from”.
“There are definitely great guys who’ve been doing this a long time and know what they are talking about,” said Hudson. “Not just the football technique, but how to handle yourself like a pro while we’re there. These guys are full of knowledge, and we are just trying to soak it all in the short time we’re with them.”
Following the game, Hudson will retrain to Seattle and the university of Washington to train for his pro day and finish his last class in order to graduate. Off the field, Hudson said he is “pretty plain jane” when it comes to clothes, but his favorite accessory are snapback hats, his favorite food is Mexican, especially Indigo and Guacamole, and his favorite destination to go to would be to Tahiti, as he enjoyed a 10 day trip for a study-abroad program there.
Hudson has three nicknames of note: Buddy, Strahan, Hud, joking that he’d like to think those many nicknames mean he is loved. Before games, Hudson likes to “keep it fun” and “pop” with his music choices.
“Me and (Washington teammate Danny Shelton) like to get out there and dance to whatever is playing,” said Hudson. “It could be fireworks, it could be Fancy by Iggy azalea. A little go Reggae, a little bit of R&B. I stay pretty mellow and conservative until the game comes out.”
While Hudson may be mellow before games, he is certainly a productive and scary lineman for offenses to deal with once he gets on the field. Hopefully the scouts that see him recognize Hudson’s talent and give him an extra look because his play certainly speaks for itself.
About the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl
The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl is a premiere post-season all-star game for draft-eligible college players. The week-long schedule provides participants with a first-class professional experience while introducing them to the business of the National Football League.
Founded in 2012, the annual game gives prospective NFL players the best opportunity to showcase their talents to potential employers and fans. In 2013, scouts from every NFL club and other professional leagues attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl’s practices and game. Nearly 100 scouts not only watched the live practices and game but also conducted player interviews and reviewed tape. Peak television ratings for the 2013 game surpassed the East-West Shrine game and bested the Senior Bowl in overall impressions. The 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl was ESPN’s highest-rated collegiate program on game day.
In 2014, more than 140 NFL Scouts, Player Personnel Staff, GMs and Head Coaches attended the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl practices and game. Multiple other professional football leagues had representatives on hand as well.
The game is on Saturday, January 17 at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT, and is televised on ESPN2. Practices are on ESPNU.
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