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Hughes commits to Stoops

By James D. Horne jhorne@paducahsun.com

It just was the right time to make the decision and for McCracken County's Zyaire Hughes it meant choosing to make a verbal commitment to play football for Mark Stoops and the University of Kentucky in 2016.

"I've been thinking about it for a while," said Hughes, the Mustangs' 6-foot-1, 185-pound quarterback. "I really wasn't sure I was going to do it until a day ago. I just wanted to because I'm comfortable with the staff and school."

Hughes said he chose Kentucky over Louisville and Tennessee. He said he was impressed with how Stoops is building the Wildcats.

"I just feel like he's building a family and a good program there," Hughes said. "I just feel like he's going to build the program up."

McCracken County head football coach Jack Haskins said Hughes' commitment is a major accomplishment for the second-year program that went 9-3 last season and advanced to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs, where the Mustangs lost to Central Hardin 32-23.

"Anytime you have a young man that's good enough to play Division I football in the SEC, it says a whole lot about the program," the coach said. "It's a great honor for him. He's a special kid."

Hughes was one of the most electric athletes in the area last season. He threw for 2,446 yards, going 172-for-294 passing with 23 touchdowns in 12 games. He was second on the team in rushing, collecting 634 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Hughes said he'll play at wide receiver when he gets to Lexington in 2016. He said he's glad he got the decision out of the way and now can concentrate fully on helping the Mustangs get to the Class 6A championship game next year.

"Things are so much easier now," he said. "There's a big weight that's been lifted off my shoulders. Now all we have to do is perform."

Call James D. Horne, a Sun sports writer, at 270-575-8661 or follow on Twitter @psunsports.

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