WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Former First Flight QB Braxton Hughes

By on September 21, 2019

Now at Richmond, Hughes is getting accustomed to the speed of the college game.

What an interesting young man. That’s what I thought after hanging up the phone following a recent interview with Braxton Hughes. The former standout First Flight athlete is now a Richmond Spider, and before settling on the word ‘interesting,’ I considered terms like ‘humble,’ ‘smart,’ and ‘well-mannered.’

Truth be told, I already knew those things about him having followed his high school career and broadcast many of his Nighthawk baseball games. And in this one conversation, we ran the gamut from talking football and bridge-jumping to a discussion about music that featured a friendly debate on the recent Eminem/Machine Gun Kelly rap beef. As I hung up, I wondered whether that was Kid Harbour (more on that later) or Braxton Hughes I had just spoken with.

Having enrolled at Richmond and spent last year redshirting, Hughes is now in his second year on campus, but in his first season on the football field. After a year on the sidelines and currently listed as a backup, he is anxious to get on the field. That said, he understands his role and is making the best of it by using the time to improve his game.

When asked what he thought was the most improved part of his game, Hughes quickly responded with “the fundamentals, like taking snaps, dropping back, and moving in the pocket.” While he is pleased with his progress, he’ll admit that he still needs to get more acclimated to the speed of the game. With three full seasons of football eligibility remaining after this one, he realizes there is plenty of football in his future.

But this young man also has interests outside of football. Look no further than his YouTube videos where you’ll find an up-close encounter with a shark that occurred while spearfishing. That’s just another hobby of the self-described adrenaline junkie. The GoPro that he used to film his shark encounter has also been used to help document his surfing and bridge-jumping exploits and whatever other activities he and his friends get into when he’s able to return to his Outer Banks roots.

While he is certainly enjoying his Richmond experience, Hughes badly misses his home. What exactly does he miss? “Everything” he says, “I couldn’t choose just one thing that I miss because I miss everything that my friends and I get into back home.”

Though he couldn’t choose any one activity that he missed more than others, he did cite his mom’s baked ziti as well as the nearby Viva Mexican Grill as a couple of the things he misses. He also misses having in-home laundry service. But fortunately, he has discovered the tasty treats at a Richmond area Cookout and has also learned how to wash his own clothes.

Hughes says he misses playing baseball and admits that he’s toyed with the idea of trying out next spring. As a former All-State performer on the diamond, I certainly wouldn’t doubt him if he chose to play baseball.

The hardest part of his experience though, has not been the laundry or leaving baseball behind. The most difficult adjustment to college life has been just how limited his time is. The day that I spoke with him, he had already worked out, practiced, and attended two classes — all by lunchtime.

Classes, workouts, film sessions, practice and study hall leave very little time for his music, which may be his first passion. Hughes listens to a very diverse selection of music and also likes to write and perform his own music under the moniker Kid Harbour.

You can catch Kid Harbour’s music on most online platforms like Spotify, Youtube, Amazon, SoundCloud, etc. He even recently gave his first live performance. And hopefully, we’ll soon see Braxton Hughes performing on the football field for the Richmond Spiders.

Tom Hoggard is sports director/media consultant at East Carolina Radio. He hosts the Outer Banks Sports Report on 98.1 The Score Monday through Friday from 7 to 9 a.m.



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