2007 NFL Draft Player Reviews – CB Daymeion Hughes

The PAC-10 may have the 2 best CB’s that are draft eligible in Antoine Cason and Daymeion Hughes out of Cal. Hughes has all the tools that ANY NFL personnel person looks for in a CB, size (6’2, 195) speed (4.3), a fearless attitude and a short memory. He is a play maker plain and simple.

Hughes is currently a mid-season All-American by SI.com and CBS Sportsline and ranks second in the nation with seven interceptions so far this season. Hughes is second all-time at Cal with 14 interceptions and snagged his seventh interception of the season against Washington, snagging a key pass in the end zone, and also broke up a pass and had six tackles on the day. He collected his sixth interception of the season against Washington State to go with three tackles and a pass breakup. Hughes had four tackles against Oregon while holding Jason Williams to just 66 receiving yards (he had entered the game with 115.5 per game). Hughes recorded four tackles with a pair of pass break-ups against Oregon State, and he returned an interception for a touchdown against Arizona State (his fourth career INT return for a TD and second this year). Hughes added a second pick-off against the Sun Devils (his third career two INT game) while leading the team with 11 tackles. Daymeion returned an interception for a 30-yard touchdown against Portland State, and Hughes snared two interceptions against Minnesota while also tallying six tackles and a pass break-up. He recorded five tackles against Tennessee as the Volunteers rarely threw towards him. A preseason All-American by eight different publications, including first team All-America by ESPN.com and Playboy and is on the Watch List for three different national awards.

In 2005 he led the PAC-10 Conference with 17 passes defended, including 12 break-ups while ranking second in the league with five interceptions and ranked No. 16 nationally in that category. Hughes finished fourth on the squad with 62 tackles. Hughes also returned his five interceptions for 159 yards, including a 41-yarder for a touchdown at Washington. Hughes had two interceptions in the shutout of Arizona and a 59-yard interception return at New Mexico State and his INT against BYU on the Cougars’ final possession clinched Cal’s victory in the Las Vegas Bowl. Hughes had a season-best 10 tackles and broke up two passes against top-ranked USC, he followed that up by getting a blocked a kick and recorded a quarterback sack against Washington State. He forced a fumble against Stanford.

Back in 2004, Hughes started at cornerback opposite Harrison Smith as a sophomore, starting in 11 of Cal’s 12 games. The club’s 12th-leading tackler with 26 stops, including 21 unassisted, he tied for second on team in passes broken up with six. Hughes starred in the Big Game vs. Stanford, breaking up four passes and recording a pair of solo tackles, he also broke up passes at Air Force and Oregon State. He tallied four-tackle games three times, at Air Force, vs. Arizona State and in the Holiday Bowl vs. Texas Tech.

In his Freshman year, he was the Bears’ most productive true freshman, starting five games at cornerback and tying for the team lead with two interceptions. He had 30 tackles (25 solo) and recovered one fumble while playing in all 14 games. His first interception of his career came against Oregon State, a pick he returned 72 yards for a touchdown, and his second interception came against Washington at the Cal 6-yard line, staving off a possible Husky scoring drive. Hughes was credited with three tackles in the Insight Bowl against Virginia Tech. Hughes was the recipient of the Bob Simmons
Award as the team’s most valuable freshman.

Coming out of Crenshaw High School, Hughes graded out No. 79 on the California Top 100 list and No. 41 on the Athletes list nationwide. He was named to the SuperPrep All-Far West team and Prep Star’s All-West squad following a senior season that produced impressive statistics on both sides of the ball. He rushed for 600 yards and chalked up 720 yards receiving, while scoring a combined 15 touchdowns as a senior and also registered 48 tackles and 10 interceptions at defensive back in 2002. Hughes made the Los Angeles Times all-region team and was named the Coliseum League Co-Player of the Year. He also voted runner-up Southern California Prep Player of the Year and Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West honorable mention. Hughes was regarded as the 11th-best cornerback in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com, and as a junior, earned all-league and all-city honors after rushing for more than 1,500 yards and adding another 520 yards receiving. Hughes also gathered 49 tackles, five interceptions and two sacks at defensive back. Hughes competed two years in basketball and track, and one season in tennis.

He is a art practice major at Cal and is the leader of their secondary. His parents, Ronald and Catana, call him by his nickname, Dantè.

I see Hughes along the same lines of Cason, as the 1b to Cason’s 1a when it comes to CB’s this year. You can’t go wrong with either of them. Hughes is a proven play maker that can take away half the field. If I had to compare him to anyone, it would be a more physical Champ Bailey. Bailey’s cover skills were more NFL ready (when picked #7 overall by the Redskins) then Hughes’, but Hughes has the ability to be THAT TYPE of player.

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