FRESNO - Juju Hughes was the last one off the practice field after Fresno States first fall practice of the season.
Hughes, a Hanford native, and the Bulldogs opened fall camp on Aug. 2 beginning preparation for their 2019 season opening game against the USC Trojans on Saturday, Aug 31.
Hughes is entering his senior year at Fresno State.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet,” Hughes said. “I still feel like I just got here and I was a young freshman."
Jeff Tedford, Fresno State head coach, was happy with what he saw on the first day of practice.
"The energy was there, the attention detail was there," Tedford said. "There is a lot of excitement to get back on the field after a long summer of workouts."
Hughes will be one of the top defenders in the Mountain West Conference and is also one of the leaders of the team, something that he said he takes pride in.
“I just think about all the questions I had as a freshman and want to be there for my younger teammates,” Hughes said. “Show them how to work hard and to be a veteran.”
The advice that Hughes is passing down is not just about how to act on the field.
“We have standards set here with the program and I try to lead by example," Hughes said. " That's why I stay after practice and to put in extra work. I also tell them my teammates how to take care of business in study hall and training room."
Hughes is not thinking yet about playing his final season as a member of the Bulldogs, but rather what he needs to do to keep improving.
"I just put my head down and work. I'm not thinking that this is my last season," Hughes said. "I am just happy to be out here with my guys, trying to get better and take it one game at a time. We are just trying to go out and win."