The oldest of five brothers, Hughes was a defensive end, tight end and receiver in high school. The three-sport athlete also played basketball and participated in the shot put in track.
After garnering a slew of accolades as a senior, he enrolled at Cincinnati and redshirted in 2007. He started one of the 13 games he appeared in each of the next two seasons. Hughes played in 12 games as a junior, finishing with 47 total sacks.
As a senior, Hughes had career highs of 51 tackles and 5.0 sacks while starting 11 of 12 games.
He fell under the radar as a draft prospect, being invited to the scouting combine but sitting out testing drills due to a right knee injury. He did lift 225 pounds 28 times, and then was able to work out for scouts on March 27, running a 5.32 40 and lifting the bar 29 times.
Strengths: Good frame and can hold his ground in run support. Nose tackle candidate who could supply the ability to occupy double teams.
Weaknesses: Very average athleticism with a low ceiling for growth. Likely a reserve rotational player at best. Little pass rush ability.