Heck, he wasn't even guaranteed a starting spot in the lineup. Now he's one of the best defensive ends in the country.
He added Mountain West defensive player of the week honors to that for the 2nd time this season.
It shouldn't be a surprise, Hughes' 4 sacks against BYU last Thursday brings his season total to a NCAA high 11.
He was also recently added to the Bronco Nagurski Award watch list, which is given to the nation's best defensive player.
Hughes is a soft spoken man off the field, but on it he's a machine.
The junior uses his speed to get to the quarterback, but is stout against the run as well.
TCU has the number 1 overall defense in the country, holding opponents to just 218.63 yards per game.
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The Horned Frogs also lead the country in rush defense and sacks.