Former Averett University Cougar wide receiver Jeff Hughley, who was the 2007 Arena Cup Championship MVP, spoke with me while driving to Colorado to join his Colorado Crush teammates in training camp.
Jeff, who weighs 170 pounds and stands just 5’8”, was one of the driving offensive forces for the Tulsa Talons in their bid to the 2007 Arena Cup Championship. He helped his team to their second Arena Cup in franchise history, 73-66, over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers.
Hughley accounted for four Tulsa touchdowns, including two kickoff returns, and was named the U.S. Army Strong Ironman of the Game. He caught nine passes for 143 yards and returned seven kickoffs for 203 yards.
The 203 kickoff return yards and 346 all-purpose yards are both new Arena Cup records.
Hughley impressed several AFL head coaches this past offseason, but chose to sign with the Colorado Crush. So who is this fearless player? Here are a few clues:
What is one thing most people do not know about Jeff Hughley?
He worked for New England this season, and had to choose between reporting to camp and going to the Super Bowl with the Patriots.
Where is his college located?
Averett University is located in Danville, Virginia, just 45 minutes from Greensboro, North Carolina.
Which NFL player does Hughley look up to most?
Dante Hall. Hughley said that if he ever met Hall, he would ask him how he goes about maintaining focus, improving, and staying motivated in the NFL.
Did he play any other sports growing up?
Jeff ran track and field and played basketball. However, he chose football because of the physical aspect and the psychological challenges. He said that he likes to recognize coverages and come up with strategies to adjust to the opponent’s game plans.
Where would Hughley be found on a Saturday night?
Hughley said he is a homebody and likes to “chill” at home watching football.
What is Hughley’s favorite kind of music?
What CD is in his CD player, and what is the most repeated song?
Jeff does not have a CD player; he has a ZOOM. He said he is constantly playing Worldwide Mob Figgas by Tupac Shakur.
Which coach has left a lasting impression?
David Crockett, Averret University.
What about a sense of humor?
Jeff said that as a football player, you need a sense of humor. It helps to ease stress and keeps him from taking anything too seriously.
What is one word that describes Jeff Hughley?
“Ridiculous.” His dad gave him this nickname.
What is his most memorable TD?
Last season, Tulsa Talons vs. Oklahoma City Yard Dawgz—a one-handed catch of an overthrown pass.
Which AFL player would he most like to go up against?
Former Tulsa Talons teammate Jamar Ransom, presently of the Chicago Rush. Jeff considers Jamar a high motor player, big tackler, and hard hitter (saying the new regulations will help him).