In describing Montori Hughes’ feelings on being selected by the Indianapolis Colts, look up the word grateful and attach whatever synonyms you want.
The road to the NFL wasn’t how Hughes envisioned it when he arrived to the University of Tennessee back in 2009.
After two seasons in Knoxville, academic struggles forced Hughes to transfer to the University of Tennessee-Martin and any career in the NFL would have to be put on hold until the work in the classroom was improved.
The move from the SEC to the Ohio Valley was a wakeup call for Hughes and after making progress in his studies the path to the professional ranks became a reality during the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
“It’s a blessing to have this opportunity,” Hughes said in an interview with “1070 The Fan” last week.
“A lot of people dream about this and as a kid you dream about playing in the NFL. The whole process has been going on and like I said, I’m soaking it all in and I’m just hanging out with the family until it’s time to go to work.”
The work begins on Friday for Hughes, as the Colts rookies will head to their new home for a three-day minicamp before OTAs resume the following week.
During the draft process, Hughes said he had a “wonderful” visit to Indianapolis and felt a strong relationship between himself and head coach Chuck Pagano.
Montori Hughes weighed in at 329 pounds at this year’s NFL Combine, yet as the fifth heaviest defensive tackle, the Colts draft pick put up impressive quickness numbers among the 21 defensive tackles invited to Indianapolis this past February.
|40-yard dash||5.23 seconds||15th|
|20-yard shuttle||4.70 seconds||8th|
|Three-cone drill||7.85 seconds||17th|
The Colts return just two starts to the nose tackle position but Hughes won’t jump to any conclusions before he hits the practice field.
“You’ve got to have a worker’s mentality and just come in every day and work hard,” Hughes said. “I love to compete and just soak in some of the information that the vets that have been there for a while. Just work hard and try and perfect my technique so I can get out and contribute to the team for a championship.”
A vital component of any championship team is a strong rush defense.
That was stressed by Ryan Grigson following this year’s NFL Draft and the Colts general manager believes he’s added another piece (a rather large one) to that building.
“He’s 6-4 and change, 340 pounds and he can move like a cat. There are just very few human beings that have that ability,” Grigson said of Hughes
“He came in here on a visit and knocked everyone’s socks off, looked everyone in the eye and just really made a great impression. Every draft, every year since I’ve been doing this, you find very small handfuls of men and athletes that are this big and can bend and accelerate and decelerate and move laterally like this guy can.”
Tags: Montori Hughes
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