Hughes ready to help Florida on recruiting front

New UF director of player personnel Drew Hughes has experience recruiting the state of Florida.

National Signing Day is less than a month away, and helping Florida’s football staff close strong will be Drew Hughes.

UF coach Will Muschamp hired Hughes as director of player personnel last month, replacing Jon Haskins. Hughes, 26, served in the same position at N.C. State and Central Florida over the past two years.

Prior to that, he spent five seasons at Alabama working for Nick Saban and his director of player personnel Ed Marynowitz, who is now the assistant director of pro scouting with the Philadelphia Eagles.

On Tuesday, Hughes sat down for an interview with GatorZone’s Scott Carter.

He said his job at UF entails the following:

“Identifying the players that can come in and help us win championships, and (developing) the process of doing that, and relating it and being a right-hand man to every coach on staff — because ultimately that’s what I’m here to do, to help the coaches — if I can make their jobs easier from a recruiting standpoint, that’s what I’m here to do.”

Muschamp has said recruiting is all about relationships, a viewpoint Hughes shares as well.

“Something I hope that doesn’t become a lost art is just getting to know (recruits), spending time with them — not just them but their family. Part of the process is bringing good kids into your program. That’s just as important as the football part.”

Hughes is known as an energetic guy, and his recruiting letter to an N.C. State prospect made national headlines last March. His personality should fit right in with Muschamp.

“He’s a guy that I’ve always really wanted to see myself work with,’’ Hughes said of Muschamp. “I’m a competitor just like he is. And being able to learn from him and see how he runs an organization and the evaluation and building a team from a personnel standpoint, I was really fired up about it.”

Below are two videos of Hughes from his time at UCF.

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  1. Did you read the article?? Nobody is depending on him to bring in recruits. He said it himself, he is here to make the job of recruiting for the coaches easier by “Identifying the players that can come in and help us win championships, and (developing) the process of doing that, and relating it and being a right-hand man to every coach on staff — because ultimately that’s what I’m here to do, to help the coaches — if I can make their jobs easier from a recruiting standpoint, that’s what I’m here to do.” This does not imply depending on, everyone knows who the responsibility falls on to recruit.

  2. I have been following the Gators and recruiting since ’65 and I am an Alumni since ’72. I have witnessed our worst and best years with the same pride of being a Gator each year. What I have never witnessed was the whining that I am seeing in this column. Give the coaches and the team an opportunity to really prove themselves away from catastophic injuries that decimated the team. With all of the negativity in this column what you are not seeing is we are in the top 10 classes for 2014 recruiting to date. We are the Florida Gators and proud of it.

  3. It’s very simple. Win games and they’ll come. Cook would be in Gainesville right now if the Gators were not 4-8. All these updates on 2015 prospects are worthless if the Gators aren’t measurably improved on the field next year. If some leaders are found and Driskel shows improvement, then the future recruiting will be great. If not, it’ll be up to the next staff. Being in Florida, you can get somebody who just fell off the turnip truck and have outstanding recruiting, if they win on the field.

  4. Muschamp and the whole staff have to do a much better job in recruiting as well as in coaching. After a 4-8 season, including a loss at home to a wounded FCS team, the overall lack of talent is obvious (unless you blame it solely on coaching). In the absence of Meyer’s recruits, it was just a different team. The current commits are nice, but the coaching staff still needs to close it strong.

  5. All we need is a top 50 offense… if we’d had one this year, with our defense, we could have gone BCS bowling.
    Granted, there have been some bad in-game coaching decisions. Foley chose a bull heading, non-elite coach to learn on the job and he is learning the hard way.But he is learning.
    Lets hang together Gators and show those noles who we are!!!

  6. the primary goal of a coach is to develop the talent on a particular team. W M does not fit this bill. The gators still lost to a team leveled with injuries ,not even in the class of school .The team gave up on its coach.He can point all the fingers he wants injury, ofc stc whatever but the buck stops with him

  7. Dustin that’s only assuming we don’t get anyone worthwhile. If Lane and Jackson leave, but we get Adoree Jackson, Eric Lauderdale, Lorenzo Carter, Myles Autry, Derrell Scott/Jeff Jones, and Damian Prince, do you really think we won’t be a top 10 class? Yes we were terrible on the field this year, but the job this staff has done recruiting has been tremendous. If we don’t produce on the field next year, you can count on the fact that it’s a coaching problem not developing talent because there’s no way that many recruits bust. But until that happens it’s time to get off the negativity train and support your team. This is a great class! Can’t wait for next year

  8. To Arizona_Gator I give you a round of applause. We have a great opportunity next year and when I see the doomsday responses I wonder if they know the harm that they are doing. If you want to trash Coach Muschamp do it in person not in this forum. You do no good in trashing the coaches and staff that are working their butts off to make us all shine. Give them a real chance to show what they have. This year is not representative of who we are. GO GATORS

  9. You all need to understand, this guy isn’t the recruiting coordinator. He’s not the lead guy with recruits. He’s not the evaluator of talent. His job is to drive the car on recruiting trips, send the daily texts to the recruits, stuff like that. All of you concerned that this guy is too green to have so much responsibility, relax, he doesn’t have much.

  10. Listen, there’s still plenty of Top Talent left on the board. We will get some and we will lose some, I’m finish with the trashing of Champ and the job that was done this year. Yes I think it hurt us in some respects but we have plenty in the tank, we just have to pump it out and with steady force. We are not ridding ourselves of Champ this year for sure, he has a chance to make or break his own career here at FLORIDA. Performance is the determining factor for next year, injuries or not. Let’s get off that roller coaster and work on what can help the NEW TEAM and STAFF. ONE more thing, PLEASE do not respond to the JAMES FISHER guy, he is on a high and when the drugs wear off, reality will once again set it (the real world will again be there for him to deal with. GO GATORS!!!!

  11. Drew Hughes proof is in the results he has produced. Recruiting has gotten better at every school he has been at. Obviously he was trained at Bama and would not have been involved with their program if he had not excelled with Saban there. I am told by UCF people that Coach O’Leary depended heavily on him the last 2 classes of which many played this year. It looks like many don’t know what a player personnel guy does. They do watch film. They do find talent. They do recruit. They do recommend. But it’s the coaches that make the final decision. Let the guy do his job…he knows what he is doing.

    UCF has done a great job! Being that Charlie is gone and if Muschamp doesn’t workout O’Leary should be paid big money to come save the fighting Gators. No matter what his resume said. G.Tech would have be winning N.C.’s yearly.

  13. I posted about three weeks ago that all of these new “Hot” recruits that want to see the fielf Right off, “MUST” spend a couple days with VH3. He can give a class on how to come in, do the HARD work thatit takes to get on the field AND PERFORM after you get there. Al of the ” I’m looking for playing time guys” need to know what it take to get on the field and what it takes to perform and what level of performance will keep you on the field. The things you did at (WHATEVER) high will not be enough. It only got you the audition, performance will get you the starting role in this movie! GO GATORS!!!!