2017 Season Countdown: #8 Khaleke Hudson

2017 Season Countdown: #8 Khaleke Hudson


August 24, 2017

Khaleke Hudson (#7, image via MLive)

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Name: Khaleke Hudson
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: McKeesport (PA) McKeesport
Position: Viper
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Hudson #46 and said he would be a backup strong safety. Hudson made 8 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, and 1 pass breakup.
TTB Rating: 80

Hudson looks like Tarzan and plays like Tarzan. He obliterated people in high school, and he struggled with digesting the defense in 2016, but he still blocked 2 punts. With a couple senior safeties and a pretty good sophomore in Tyree Kinnel, it wasn’t surprising that Hudson didn’t see the field much. The biggest question was whether Hudson or Josh Metellus would step forward first, and it seemed like the coaching staff thought Metellus was further ahead, since he stepped in for Jabrill Peppers in the bowl game.

Going into this spring, there were still questions about whether Hudson could handle the intricacies of the defense. After a few spring practices at Viper, the answer seemed to be a resounding YES. By almost all accounts, Hudson is just a hair away from being Jabrill Peppers; meanwhile, Metellus is no longer a factor at Viper and resides at strong safety. Nobody is a close second at Viper, but freshman Jaylen Kelly-Powell and redshirt sophomore Jordan Glasgow provide depth. It’s Hudson’s job unless something happens. I look forward to seeing Hudson support the run, chase after quarterbacks, and do his impression of a first round draft pick.

Prediction: Starting Viper; 65 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 2 interceptions

25 comments

  1. Avatar
    Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Aug 24, 2017 at 10:07 AM

    My top 4 I’m looking forward to watching this year:
    Gary
    Hurst
    Hudson!!!
    Bush

  2. Lanknows
    Comments: 6193
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 24, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    I’d love to see him come close to Peppers.

    The real test will be in how many snaps he sees or if we see him getting pulled for Furbush, Glasgow or others.

    Hopefully they can get back to the kind of versatility they had with their 3 safeties last year – moving them around whenever they needed to – blitzing one, dropping another, putting them in 1-on-1 coverage on a slot WR. Kinnell, Metellus, and Hudson are all around the same size so it would seem feasible.

    Either way – a critical player at a critical position.

  3. Avatar
    Comments: 528
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Aug 24, 2017 at 2:52 PM

    Why is the goal trying to become as good as Peppers on defense? Even NFL teams inquired about what Peppers did really well on defense. He was obviously quite the talent and could blitz but I sure hope Hudson can be a more well rounded player and exceed those reasonable expectations. Peppers was a solid player but nothing exceptional. I think the media was in love with him for all positions who could play. Peppers should be in the Denard Robinson fan favorite club because they were both dynamic and flashy and not in the Woodson, Woodley, Graham, Gold or Harris production club.

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6193
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 24, 2017 at 2:58 PM

      You want him to be MORE well rounded than a Heisman contender and All-american? Peppers was exceptional — BECAUSE he was so well rounded.

      I would love to hear how Ian Gold had superior “production” to Peppers. I would encourage you to compare stats with Woodley too.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 528
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Aug 24, 2017 at 5:55 PM

        Peppers was a more all around player but definitely lacked at being dominant at his defensive position. Give me a minute and I will find his quote about NFL teams asking him about his defensive career at UM.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 528
          Joined: 9/13/2015
          michymich
          Aug 24, 2017 at 6:25 PM

          Here is a guy trying to transition to a position he didn’t really play in college. Tells me that he wasn’t great at anyone position. He was a phenomenal athlete and quite hyped by the media but that doesn’t make him, in my eyes, a legendary of all American player except for playing a multitude of positions. I’ll leave off the injury bug. Not saying Peppers isn’t a great athlete or a very good football player. He obviously did some very good things at UM but as I said in another post, Peppers and Robinson are definitely in the popular dynamic club.

          Here is what I could find.

          In his one-on-one meetings this week, his versatility ignited a primary round of questions. He provided straightforward answers.
          “Basically they asked me where do I see myself playing?” Peppers said. “If they were to draft me, where would they put me? What are my strong suits? What are my weaknesses? Just things like that.
          “I tell them my natural position is definitely in the defensive backfield. I had to fill a void this year because it’s what was best for the team. If I had to do it all over again, I would. I didn’t think it would hurt me.”
          Peppers repeatedly emphasized his value as a safety. He talked about his coverage skills and the drills he didn’t work on last season because he was a linebacker. He touted his work ethic and his toughness. He said he plans to run a sub “4.45” in the 40-yard dash.
          “The bottom line is I’m a ballplayer, and I’m a hell of a ballplayer,” Peppers said. “I intend to run fast. I intend to look smooth doing whatever it is I’m asked to do. After a couple of interviews, I think these coaches pretty much know what they’re going to get.
          “I’m pretty much effective wherever I get put. I don’t have a lot of tape at safety, but I’m a pretty damn good safety. I think a lot of teams noticed that. They have the tape; they asked me for tapes of me playing corner, me playing safety. Ultimately, I hope to have a lot of questions answered after this weekend.”
          Peppers’ comparisons with linebacker/safety hybrid players such as Deone Buchanan, Shaq Thompson and Kam Chancellor are prevalent. But Peppers considers himself more like Seattle free safety Earl Thomas. But in the NFL’s sub-package style of play, Peppers’ versatility provides coaches with possibilities.
          “When you look at Peppers, you look at what he does: ‘Wow,’ ” Carolina coach Ron Rivera said. “Here’s a guy that gives you some safety traits. Here’s a guy that can probably come down in the box like a nickel, come down in the box like a linebacker. And if you ever really did need it, you can put him on the offensive side as well.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 6193
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Aug 24, 2017 at 9:42 PM

          It is pretty clear the NFL did not see value in Peppers which is why he did not get drafted after his RS Soph season.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 1863
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Aug 24, 2017 at 10:28 PM

          Peppers got bullied by big linemen, but most LBs would at that size. He made plays in space that no other player was making, and kept us in that Colorado game. We lose without him

          • Lanknows
            Comments: 6193
            Joined: 8/11/2015
            Lanknows
            Aug 25, 2017 at 11:43 AM

            This was the concern but I wonder how many times it actually happened.

            We know we lose without him because…we did.

    • Avatar
      Comments: 10
      Joined: 9/19/2016
      newtopos
      Aug 24, 2017 at 4:33 PM

      Over three seasons, Denard Robinson threw for over 6,000 yards (with higher passer ratings and Y/A than guys like Navarre and Henne) and ran for over 4,000 yards (at over 6 yards a clip). That is production. The fact that his play was so dynamic might distract from how amazing his career at Michigan was.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 528
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Aug 24, 2017 at 5:51 PM

        He put up lots of numbers. He played lots of game. He played well against Notre Dame. I should have phrased it differently. He was more productive in terms of numbers than someone like Brady but wasn’t as good. I retract the word productive and insert the word overhyped by some fans and the media. Robinson and Peppers were dynamic and multi faceted but overhyped. I don’t see Peppers doing anything great in the NFL. How did this great Robinson do while in the NFL? Relative to other UM players like Gold or Woodley or Graham, Peppers is overrated. Media hype. Fan favorite.

        • Avatar
          Comments: 10
          Joined: 9/19/2016
          newtopos
          Aug 24, 2017 at 6:19 PM

          I thought we were talking about Michigan and college football. Denard Robinson was a great player of college football at Michigan. (He was and is also a great ambassador of the University, in my opinion.)
          Now you want to talk about how players do in the NFL. That’s a different topic.

          • Avatar
            Comments: 528
            Joined: 9/13/2015
            michymich
            Aug 24, 2017 at 9:33 PM

            I was using his lack of success in the NFL to diminish his supposed great athletic ability at the college level. Back to Robinson and his college career. I will never dispute his ability to make some spectacular plays. Great kid and a very fine football player at UM. Now, was Robinson a great qb at Michigan? No he wasn’t. Now he has his legion of fans who fall all over themselves when discussing his run against Notre Dame or Western Michigan but if you look at his entire body of work at the qb position he was great for highlights but the consistent level of production for HIS position was nothing to gush over. I would take Brian Griese as a senior every day of the week over Robinson. I can’t believe I am about to say this but I’d take John Navarre as a senior over Robinson. You take Hemingway off that last team and UM is in the Alamo bowl. He wasn’t that good. It’s not personal against Robinson. I just can’t hop on board with all the groupies and claim Robinson like Peppers is in the same category as some of the other greats. Mike Hart isn’t nearly as talented as Robinson but he was a much better football player. Here is the best way I can put it. There was announcer who said there is a difference between a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Very Good. I think it was Peter King. Both Robinson and Peppers belong in the Hall of Very good but not at the highest UM level of players. I’d bet most Michigan fans under 30 years old would say Robinson was better than David Harris and that is all you need to know about fandom.

            • Lanknows
              Comments: 6193
              Joined: 8/11/2015
              Lanknows
              Aug 24, 2017 at 9:50 PM

              Denard’s ability at the college level is not “supposed”. He had a far better college career than Brady. He was drafted higher than Brady too – despite an expected position change.

              Brady’s skill position talent was >> Denard’s. Bringing up Hemingway is a laugher.

              A lot of people over 30 like to value white immobile QBs over everything else and act like running isn’t a legitimate skill. That is all you need to know about a certain kind of fan.

              • Avatar
                Comments: 528
                Joined: 9/13/2015
                michymich
                Aug 25, 2017 at 2:22 AM

                https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/junior-hemingway-1.html

                Just in case you need a refresher.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0I4KhrAsb00

                Note those catches to inflate passing statistics. Also, who had the better NFL career which in all honesty isn’t saying a whole heck of a lot.

                • Avatar
                  Comments: 528
                  Joined: 9/13/2015
                  michymich
                  Aug 25, 2017 at 2:33 AM

                  I stand corrected. I’ll give the nod to Robinson by a hair although Robinson was playing on arguably the worst team in the NFL.

                • Lanknows
                  Comments: 6193
                  Joined: 8/11/2015
                  Lanknows
                  Aug 25, 2017 at 11:44 AM

                  You know who has a more impressive highlight reel and stats: David Terrell and Marquise Walker.

  4. Avatar
    Comments: 528
    Joined: 9/13/2015
  5. Lanknows
    Comments: 6193
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Lanknows
    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:55 PM

    • 2016 Paul Hornung Award winner as the nation’s most versatile player
    • 2016 Lott IMPACT Trophy winner
    • 2016 Heisman Trophy finalist; placed fifth in the final balloting
    • Two-year letterman
    • Has appeared in 27 games, making 25 starts on defense
    • Has also contributed on special teams and offense
    • 2016 Consensus All-American
    • 2015 Sporting News All-America second team
    • 2015 CBS Sports All-America second team
    • First player in Big Ten history to win three individual awards (2016, Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year, Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year and Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year)
    • Big Ten’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year in 2015
    • 2016 Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist
    • 2015-16 Paul Hornung Award Finalist
    • 2015 All-Big Ten first team (coaches and media)
    • 2015 All-Big Ten second team return specialist (coaches)
    • Three-time All-Big Ten Honoree; 2015-16 first team (coaches and media); 2015 honorable mention return specialist (media)

    Junior (2016)
    • Bo Schembechler Award – Voted Team MVP
    • Paul Hornung Award Winner
    • Lott IMPACT Trophy Winner
    • Heisman Trophy finalist; 5th place in final balloting
    • Maxwell Award Finalist
    • Chuck Bednarik Award Finalist
    • Bronko Nagurski Trophy Finalist
    • Walter Camp Player of the Year Finalist
    • Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist
    • Rotary Lombardi Award finalist
    • Unanimous First Team All-American
    • Big Ten’s Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year
    • Big Ten’s Butkus-Fitzgerald Linebacker of the Year
    • Big Ten’s Rodgers-Dwight Return Specialist of the Year
    • All-Big Ten First Team Linebacker and Return Specialist (coaches and media)
    • American Football Coaches Association All-America first team
    • Associated Press All-America first team
    • Football Writers Association All-America first team

    • Lanknows
      Comments: 6193
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      Lanknows
      Aug 24, 2017 at 10:02 PM

      If you want to dismiss all that as fan hype you can consider the way one of the best Defenses in the country fell apart the one game he didn’t play.

      Or maybe you can explain why the great arbiter of talent – the NFL – saw it fit to draft Peppers higher than David Harris and Denard Robinson higher than Tom Brady.

      • Avatar
        Comments: 528
        Joined: 9/13/2015
        michymich
        Aug 25, 2017 at 2:14 AM

        Sure. Here goes. Fell apart against a high end quality opponent in FSU with a great rb? Did offense play a part by not doing anything for 3 quarters.

        Why did the NFL draft Peppers so high? Easy. Potential and intrigue. It sure wasn’t excessive production on the defensive side of the ball. If you want to call Peppers one of the most electric players in UM football history then you win. If you want to call Peppers a great historical defensive player in UM history then you lose. I will ask you the same question as I asked above/below. If Peppers wasn’t playing ST’s and wildcat, would he have been selected in the 1st round?

        Would you like to have a wager on who has the better NFL career of Peppers, Harris & Robinson. I will give you 5 to 1 odds and we can talk in 10 years. In fact, I’ll have you a bet that Peppers is traded or cut by the end of his contract. Straight up bet. I’ll even throw in another bet that Peppers will not be starting in his 3rd year in the NFL.

        • Lanknows
          Comments: 6193
          Joined: 8/11/2015
          Lanknows
          Aug 25, 2017 at 11:52 AM

          TFL: 15 vs 13
          Sacks: 1 vs 1
          Ints: 1 vs 1

          Considering Harris was a 5th year senior while Peppers was a 3rd year sophomore, I think it’s tough to make the case that Harris was significantly more productive even before accounting for all the offense and special teams Peppers played.

          Yes – the NFL drafts on potential, but that potential is often illustrated through play.

          You’re arguing again data, accolades, and the opinions of the NFL.

          I don’t know if Peppers will have a better pro career than Harris – that’s a tall order. Harris is one of the all time greats and probably should be in the HOF. At this point that’s the guy you want to compare Peppers against? Pretty much says it all right there – doesn’t it?

          I’ll take the Peppers not getting cut bet. Name the stakes..

    • Avatar
      Comments: 528
      Joined: 9/13/2015
      michymich
      Aug 25, 2017 at 2:07 AM

      Hype. Dynamic? Yes. Great athlete? Yes. Guy even said he wanted to play safety but supposedly did what was best for the team? Wow. Let me ask you a simple question. If he didn’t play wildcat or return punts, would he have been all American on defense?

      • Lanknows
        Comments: 6193
        Joined: 8/11/2015
        Lanknows
        Aug 25, 2017 at 11:53 AM

        I think it wouldn’t have helped his draft stock if he was a conventional safety. As you outlined – some NFL teams worried about his hybrid role.

  6. Avatar
    Comments: 528
    Joined: 9/13/2015
    michymich
    Aug 25, 2017 at 2:51 AM

    This is about right. He was drafted for his talent to play multiple positions. I think that is his real value and is jack of all trades kind of player. It clearly isn’t because he is a sure thing on defense.

    http://www.ourlads.com/nfldepthcharts/depthchart/CLE

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