#32 Justin Hughes
Redshirt Senior | 6-1 | 229 lbs. | Tucker, Georgia
- Position: Linebacker
- Previous College: None
- Projection: Starter
- Status: On Scholarship
Justin Lorenz Hughes (b. Jan. 3, 1996) is an athletic player who took a step forward as a sophomore and now is one of many linebackers who will compete for a starting job in 2019.
He was the first, but certainly not last, prospect that recently departed offensive coordinator Andre Coleman pulled out of the Deep South to come to K-State.
Hughes originally enrolled at Kansas State in 2014 as a grayshirt, redshirted in 2015 and did not see any game action in 2016. He started for the White team in the 2016 spring game and collected one tackle, then played for the Purple team in the 2018 spring game.
Hughes finally saw action in six games in 2017 as both a reserve linebacker and on special teams. He recorded four tackles, including a career-high three stops against Central Arkansas, and also made a tackle against UCLA in the Cactus Bowl.
Hughes’ breakthrough came in 2018 after Elijah Sullivan was injured, clearing the way for him to start each of the last seven contests.
Hughes, who played in 11 total games, finished third on the team with 56 tackles to go along with seven tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. His seven tackles for loss ranked third on the team, while he was fourth in the Big 12 with his two forced fumbles.
Hughes came off the bench during the Texas game to record six tackles and a tackle for loss before starting the rest of the season. He set a career high with 11 tackles and forced a fumble at Baylor, then had eight tackles each against Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas Tech.
Hughes set a career high with three tackles for loss against Kansas, and also forced a fumble against the Jayhawks and recovered another one against Texas Tech.
He played under head coach Bryan Lamar for Tucker High School in Georgia, where he helped the Tigers to earn a 14-1 record and a trip to the state championship game.
Hughes was named a first-team all-state honoree in 2013 by the Georgia Sportswriters, while he was an All-DeKalb County pick by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and rated as the nation’s 70th-best outside linebacker by ESPN.
He was selected to play in the Florida-Georgia All-Star Game after totaling more than 180 tackles over his junior and senior seasons.
Hughes was a high school teammate of both Sullivan and recently graduated senior Duke Shelley.