While he has played a few different positions on offense, quarterback is his true calling. For Georgia's Tyler Hughes, being a gun slinger is where he belongs.
Hughes, 14, of Marietta, Ga., is in eighth grade at Marietta Middle School, is 5’11, 181 pounds and plays quarterback for the Marietta Blue Devils.
Hughes grew up in Miami and used to watch his half-brother Treyvon play football. It was there where his passion for the game was instilled in him.
He recalled there was one game when Treyvon got tackled so hard and it scared him so much that he ran onto the field.
“The next thing I know my parents put me into football,” he said.
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He started playing football around the age of 4 or 5 and his first position was quarterback for the Fort Lauderdale Broncos. Although he liked to throw, Hughes loved to let his feet do the work.
But at 6-years-old, his family moved to Georgia and he took a year off from football.
“It sucked not playing,” he said.
The following year, Hughes joined the Marietta Blue Devils and was the running back. This was a bit of an adjustment, he said.
“It was kind of hard back then because I wasn’t very good at remembering plays,” he said.
His position was changed again to wide receiver and tight. While he missed playing quarterback, he didn’t mind too much because he was still able to score and help the team win.
But, he was happy when he was finally able to return to quarterback in sixth grade.
“It felt great being the leader again,” he remarked.
According to Hughes, learning to balance his desire to throw and run wasn’t easy. In sixth grade he was more of a runner and had difficulty passing, but in seventh grade he improved and became a dual threat.
“Each week and every day I get better,” he explained. “I find some way to get better as a person and a football player.”
Hughes credits his success to his Head Coach Derrick Hall. Hall has taught him how to read defenses, how important the mental aspect of football is, how to react faster in games and to always keep his head up.
“He (Hall) doesn’t sugarcoat anything,” he said.
The guidance and mentorship from Hall has created a monster of a quarterback in Hughes. Hughes led the Blue Devils to the playoffs three consecutive years, including the championship game this past fall.
Some of his career highlights include, throwing for 350 yards against Kennesaw Mountain in eighth grade, rushing for 297 yards in seventh grade against Lassiter and being named the team’s offensive MVP in seventh grade.
“I just love everything about the sport of football,” Hughes said. “I like being the leader.”
With a goal of playing in the NFL, he knows he must take it one step at a time. He knows in order to become quarterback for Marietta High School, he must work hard and be patient. Hughes has already began picking the brain of its current quarterback Harrison Bailey for pointers and advice.
“Being in the NFL has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little kid,” he said. “I just need to stay on track. I have big goals for myself.”
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