By LARRY VAUGHT
Bryan Hudson grew up going to University of Kentucky football games, visited Kentucky numerous times and was offered a scholarship by Kentucky coach Mark Stoops when he was a sophomore.
He also lives in Scott County, which is only about 20 minutes from the UK campus.
Yet the Scott County senior offensive lineman has already decided he’ll play his college football at Virginia Tech, not Kentucky. Of course, he also turned down Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Notre Dame and Florida among the 24 total scholarship offers he had.
So why Virginia Tech over UK? That’s a question numerous UK fans have asked me since April when Hudson made his decision. Saturday night I got to spend some time with him at the Tyler Hicks Memorial Scholarship Banquet at Scott County and I asked him what, if anything, UK did wrong recruiting him.
“Actually, to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to Virginia Tech or hear much about Virginia Tech growing up. They offered and the more I looked into it and got to know the coaches and visited, I just fell in love with it and how much of a football school they are, the game day atmosphere, the school itself,” Hudson said. “Everything just kind of fit me better than anywhere. Not that other schools did not fit, but that was place for me.
“I really liked the UK coaching staff, the football team. Even though it is so close to home, it never really felt like somewhere that I felt I needed to be.”
The key words here to me were that that “how much of a football school” he felt Virginia Tech was. I remember former Madison Southern running back Damien Harris saying the same thing when he picked Alabama.
Does Hudson, and other football recruits, see UK as only a basketball school then?
“I wanted to be play at a football school, somewhere … it’s hard to put into words. I just felt Kentucky was more of a basketball school, so I felt like Virginia Tech fit me better,” Hudson said. “Football is the main sport at Virginia Tech, and I liked that.”
Distance was also not a concern for him. He didn’t want to play on the west coast, but a five-hour drive to Virginia Tech versus a 20-minute drive to UK didn’t impact him.
“It didn’t matter too much to me how far or how close. Distance didn’t really factor in to me. I just wanted something within reason driving-wise and Virginia Tech certainly fit that,” Hudson said.