LOG MOUNTAIN — Bell County senior offensive lineman Tan Hudson will be continuing his football career at the University of the Cumberlands.
Hudson made it official on Monday when he held a signing ceremony at BCHS.
“I’m just grateful to have an opportunity like this to go and better myself and get an education,” Hudson said. “It’s even better that I’ll be able to have fun and play football while I’m doing that.”
Listed at 6-foot-6, 320 pounds, Hudson was one of the anchors of a Bobcat offensive line that paved the way for over 3600 rushing yards as Bell went 10-3 and advanced to the state quarterfinals in 2012.
“He’s a good character kid. We know he’s a fine football player, but he has a lot of other attributes that go with him. I think Tan will do great down there, his best football is ahead of him,” said Bobcat coach Wayne Mills. “He’s just now learning the game. He’s growing into that big body as far as getting quicker. He’s already strong, but as his body continues to develop he’ll make an outstanding player. You can’t coach that size, it’s something that God has blessed him with. We’re proud of him and it’s always a great accomplishment when a player goes on to the next level.”
Hudson will join a Patriot team that is also coming off a ten-win season. Cumberlands went 10-2 last year, finished ranked number seven and advanced to the NAIA national quarterfinals.
Hudson said that success on the field was a big reason he decided to become a Patriot.
“They’re always a contender for the NAIA national title. The campus is beautiful and the people there are genuine and that just really made my decision on it,” he said.
Cumberlands defensive coordinator Michael Collins handles recruiting for southeastern Kentucky and was on hand for Hudson’s signing.
“Tan’s a fine young man. Once I had an opportunity to meet him and talk to him, look at his grades and his work ethic on and off the field, it was just a natural fit for us,” Collins said. “We had three offensive linemen that graduated so it was a position of need for us. We feel like he can come in and hopefully help out right away.”
Collins added that the Patriots have their sights set on a Mid-South Conference championship in 2013 with aspirations of advancing even further in the postseason. UC has won the conference four times in seven years under head coach John Bland and has advance to the national quarterfinals twice during his tenure.
Cumberlands figures to have a strong ground game next season as their top three rushers will all return, led by senior-to-be Terrance Cobb who ran for nearly 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Hudson said it will be up to him whether he can earn playing time as a freshman and added that he can play at either of the guard and tackle positions.
“It depends if I go up there and work hard enough. They said I’d have a chance depending on how things pan out,” he said.
Hudson said he’s most looking forward to game day Saturdays.
“We’ll get to travel and play games in Alabama and Mississippi. We’ll play for the Brass Lantern in our first game against Union College in Barbourville,” he said. “I’m just looking forward getting to play, getting an education and starting my life.”
Tan said he will study nursing at Cumberlands and has plans to possibly even go on to become a nurse practitioner.