2018 Season Countdown: #28 James Hudson III

2018 Season Countdown: #28 James Hudson III

July 31, 2018

James Hudson III (image via Twitter)

Name: James Hudson III
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 302 lbs.
High school: Toledo (OH) Central Catholic
Position: Offensive tackle
Class: Redshirt freshman
Jersey number: #55
Last year: I ranked Hudson #63 and said he would be a backup defensive tackle (LINK). He redshirted.
TTB Rating: 85

I gave Hudson a TTB Rating of 85 coming out of high school, and that was with the thought that he would play defensive tackle, the position for which he was recruited. I always saw Hudson as more of an offensive tackle, though. While he came in expecting to play defense, it hasn’t taken long for Michigan to switch him to offense.

Lo and behold, the talk all spring and summer has been that Hudson is in a battle to start at left tackle. In one corner, you have fifth year senior Juwann Bushell-Beatty, who started part of the 2017 season at right tackle and did a pretty good job of run blocking (not so much in the passing game). In the other corner, you have redshirt freshman Hudson, who has yet to take a college snap. My metaphorical money is on Bushell-Beatty to start the first game, but he’s been out of shape in his career and he’s not a great athlete. It would be great if he can take a leap as a senior, but I stop expecting a ton of growth going into years four and five. Aside from the two incoming freshmen (Ryan Hayes and perhaps Jalen Mayfield) and the injured Grant Newsome, Hudson is physically the best suited guy to play left tackle. I expect Hudson to start at left tackle for at least a portion of the season.

Prediction: Part-time starting left tackle


  1. Comments: 1863
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    Jul 31, 2018 at 9:08 AM

    Agree on LT. JBB – either through lack of consistency or injury – is a holding place. I just hope one of these younger guys is ready when their number is called

  2. Comments: 71
    Joined: 8/11/2015
    Jul 31, 2018 at 9:21 AM

    What are your thoughts on taking recruits who want to play a position they aren’t best suited for? Usually they and up where the coaches thought they would be best but lose 1-2 years practicing at the wrong position. I know Hudson switched early, but guys like Paea or Shalman or Poggi often feel like a wasted scholarship.

    Should coaches be honest and say we see you at X position, if you want to play Y don’t come here? Or lie and say they can play Y knowing the kid will likely never see the field at Y and switch to X when they want playing time.

    • Comments: 263
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      Painter Smurf
      Aug 01, 2018 at 6:44 AM

      It’s unavoidable and part of the game. You have to give kids a shot at their favorite position if you want to sign them. And the better the talent, the more the leeway from the coaches. Most kids are sensible about making a switch like Hudson, so it pays off. The trickier ones are the athletes who really long to be QBs. But even that can work out – just look at Gentry.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 01, 2018 at 7:34 AM

      I think it’s kind of a necessary evil. First of all, sometimes there’s an unexpected opportunity/need at a certain position, which is what happened to people like Khalid Hill, Henry Poggi, James Rogers, etc. Jim Harbaugh was going to run a fullback-heavy offense unlike Brady Hoke’s, so Hill and Poggi were necessary. Poggi was a highly rated DL before moving to OL, and maybe he could have been a decent SDE or DT.

      Shallman is a different story. Shallman was a wasted scholarship because he had the misguided notion that he could be a tailback when he didn’t have the talent to do so. Personally, I saw Shallman in practice a couple times, and I did not like his body language. He had no interest in being a fullback or linebacker, but he was resigned to do it later in his career because he saw the writing on the wall. I think you need to be careful with kids who insist they’re going to play a star skill position role (QB, RB) when they’re not cut out for it. Gentry is a positive in that area. Shallman is a negative.

      I know Harbaugh has said “We’ll give you a shot at X but we think your best fit is at Y” and I’m totally okay with that. Because if a kid comes in and blows up at X, no coach is going to put him at a brand new position without being sure that he can be just as effective at Y.

  3. Comments: 313
    Joined: 8/17/2015
    Jul 31, 2018 at 9:28 AM

    This is my favorite part of the countdown, when we start getting into starter territory. I would argue the starting 5 OL should be somewhere in the top 22-25 of the countdown. I too believe Hudson will take over as LT somewhere in the season, and from what I’ve been reading, maybe Runyan maintains the RT spot. As a recruit I was really high on Hudson as I felt we had an immediate need on the interior DL. If the staff moved Hudson over to OL, they must not be worried about it, so I’m not worried about it.

    But I digress. To continue on the previous poster memorial, because everyone wants to know my opinion on the matter, I have Hudson as our #4 most indispensable lineman at #17 overall, and I have JBB right at #28. My reasoning being I’ve seen JBB all last season, I see how he performs in pass protection, if JBB’s pass pro hasn’t taken a leap forward or if Hudson isn’t a high-performing LT then Patterson is going to be running for his life 15-20% of the time.

    It is a bit of a reach putting Hudson up top, but probably more hopeful than anything that his performance at the end of the season warrants it.

  4. Comments: 263
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Jul 31, 2018 at 8:22 PM

    In his interview with Webb yesterday, Warriner made it sound like Runyan worked pretty evenly at both RT and LT this spring. JBB at LT has never made intuitive sense to me, after watching his limited mobility the last couple years. Who knows. Wish Steuber was ready to compete. Also think Warriner is high on Mayfield and may try to work him in for real snaps.

    • Comments: 3845
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Aug 01, 2018 at 7:36 AM

      Yeah, it will be interesting to see what happens with Runyan. According to insider reports, he’s basically a lock to start at one of the tackle positions.

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