— Story by Taylor Kennedy
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — George Washington kicker/punter Michael Hughes has verbally committed to play at Appalachian State. Hughes becomes the latest recruit to commit to the Mountaineers’ 2021 class.
Hughes announced via Twitter on Saturday that he had received an offer from App State. On Sunday evening, he committed to the Mountaineers. Hughes had been in contact with Appalachian State for the last few months, and he says that it felt like the right decision.
— Michael Hughes (@MichaelLeeHugh1) September 14, 2020
“Over the last couple of months, I have actually been in contact with Appalachian State, Coach [Brain] Haines, and Coach [Shawn] Clark. We built a great relationship. It seemed like a great fit for me and my family for the next four to five years,” says Hughes.
Hughes held offers from a variety of Division 1 programs including Marshall, Old Dominion, Memphis, and Iowa State. The senior kicker/punter found it convenient that it was not too far away from home. He also liked what he saw on-campus.
“It is far enough away from home, but it is not too far. It is only three and a half hours. It is a great school and program. They are a top-25 school in the country, and I am going to be on a full scholarship. I will get to kick for four years,” says Hughes.
George Washington’s head football coach Steve Edwards has produced great football talent including former North Carolina Tar Heel Ryan Switzer and current Marshall quarterback Grant Wells. Hughes appreciates Coach Edwards’ help throughout the recruiting process.
“Coach Edwards is one of my best friends. I probably call him once a day, even if we have football practice. He has been there from the start for me ever since my freshman year. He is an amazing person. He has helped me with colleges ever since I stepped foot in the locker room. He got my name out there from the start, and he supported me throughout this process. I can not thank him enough,” says Hughes.
With the NCAA allowing a free year of eligibility, there are unknowns as to who will return in the Mountaineers special teams locker room. Hughes still thinks he can make an impact because of his competitive nature.
“I am a very competitive person. I hate to lose. Losing is one of my biggest pet peeves. I think me being competitive is just saying that I am ready to go in and win football games. I am ready to win championships with the App State Mountaineers,” says Hughes.
Hughes is listed as the 14th-best kicker prospect nationally in the Class of 2021 by Chris Sailer Kicking. Hughes was also a Class AAA 1st Team All-State member in 2019.