2018 Season Countdown: #2 Khaleke Hudson

Tag: Khaleke Hudson

28Aug 2018
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2018 Season Countdown: #2 Khaleke Hudson

Khaleke Hudson (image via MGoBlog)

Name: Khaleke Hudson
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 220 lbs.
High school: McKeesport (PA) McKeesport
Position: Linebacker
Class: Junior
Jersey number: #7
Last year: I ranked Hudson #8 and said he would be the starting Viper with 65 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions (LINK). He made 83 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 8 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions (returned for 22 yards), and 9 pass breakups.
TTB Rating: 80

Hudson was probably the breakout star of the year for Michigan, at least on defense. Taking over the position of first round draft pick Jabrill Peppers, we didn’t know what we were going to see. Practice reports said he was as good as or better than Peppers. Peppers did leave some things to be desired, but that hype still seemed outlandish. But for once, the practice hype was real. Hudson started off fast and played well all year long. His game against Minnesota was an all-timer after he racked up 15 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss, and 3 sacks. Those 8 tackles for loss are a Michigan school record and tied the NCAA’s mark for that stat. (The previous school record was set by linebacker Larry Foote against Iowa in 2001.) Rashan Gary, Chase Winovich, David Long, Lavert Hill, and Shea Patterson are getting a lot of hype, but meanwhile Hudson is putting up some of the most impressive numbers of all time.

Now we head into the 2018 season with Hudson entrenched at Viper and having bulked up to 220 lbs. There’s no reason to expect anything less from him this year, except a) that would be ridiculous and b) other teams should be identifying and game planning for him. That Minnesota performance was probably a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but Hudson should still rack up some big numbers. He can cover, he can blitz, and he can stop the run. The reason he’s up here at #2 on the team is . . . we don’t know what’s behind him. Walk-on Jordan Glasgow exists, but he hasn’t shown anything to suggest he can approximate Hudson’s performance. Otherwise, Brad Hawkins, Jr. has spent some time practicing at Viper, and Michigan has moved freshman Michael Barrett from slot receiver/running back to Viper. To get the best players on the field, Michigan might have to restructure its whole defense to play more SAM-type linebackers like Noah Furbush or Joshua Uche. That would negatively impact the team’s versatility and playmaking ability.

Prediction: Starting Viper; 75 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 2 interceptions

23Oct 2017
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Michigan vs. Penn State Awards

Let’s see more of this guy on offense . . . Brandon Peters. Peters has only played a couple snaps this season, which included a handoff and a quick pass to Mo Ways for 4 yards. I wasn’t one of the guys longing for Peters against Penn State, but if Michigan can pull away from Rutgers, it would be nice to get Peters some snaps.

Hit the jump for the rest of the weekly awards.

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1Sep 2017
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2017 Season Predictions

Tarik Black (image via MLive)

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There has been talk over the past few months that there’s a race for the #1 running back spot, but so far I have yet to see evidence of that. Chris Evans and Karan Higdon are thought to be the top two by most, and some have said that Ty Isaac looks to be in the mix for #2, as well. Until I see otherwise, I’m going with the front-runner.
Prediction: Chris Evans, 900 yards

This one is really a crapshoot with no returning yardage producers to speak of and a bunch of freshmen in the running to play. The top returning receiver is Grant Perry, who had some off-the-field troubles and lost jersey #9 to freshman Donovan Peoples-Jones. Peoples-Jones, Kekoa Crawford, and Tarik Black also seem likely to play a bunch. I’m going with the guy who looked best in the spring, and that was Black.
Prediction: Tarik Black, 830 yards

Hit the jump for the rest of the season predictions.

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24Aug 2017
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2017 Season Countdown: #8 Khaleke Hudson

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