Hudson’s journey to field general

The Stafford, Va. native will continue to grow into new leadership role

The Liberty Flames football team kicked off their home schedule Saturday, Sept. 8. The lights came on in Williams Stadium for the first time this season, and all eyes were on starting quarterback Brian Hudson.

Hudson has already impressed many people this season, including assistant head coach Carl Torbush.

His time — After three years of watching from the sidelines, Hudson has proven himself to be a solid QB, both on and off the field. Photo credit: Ruth Bibby

“I thought for the first game as a starter in a hostile environment that he showed great composure and great leadership ability,” Torbush said. “He made very few bad decisions. Overall, I thought that he did an outstanding job for his first time as a starter here at Liberty.”

Senior wide receiver Pat Kelly is also impressed with Hudson, but more so in his interactions with the team off the field.

“My relationship with Brian has come a long way,” Kelly said. “It used to be that we wouldn’t really see each other a whole lot even though we are on the same team. He was kind of off to himself and kind of a quiet guy. He has definitely come a long way with the new leadership role as the starting quarterback. He has branched out — he’s had to. He’s stepped up in his leadership and interacting with the other guys a lot too. It is cool to see him developing in that aspect.”

“In the locker room, he knows when to be quiet, but he also likes to relax and have a good time — kind of let his hair down, you could say. He likes to joke around and hang out with the guys,” Kelly said.

The real question that is plaguing the student body is “who is the man behind the helmet wearing the number 18?”

Hudson, a junior, says that he is already noticing changes in his position.

“It’s a lot different than being a third string quarterback,” Hudson said. “It has its benefits, and also a lot more responsibility. I am trying to embrace every aspect of it. So far, I had a great time last weekend. Even though we had a loss, I still took a lot away from it, and so did my teammates.”

Academic achievement is just as important as accomplishments for student-athletes. Hudson is confident that he handles that aspect well.

“I think I manage being a student and an athlete pretty well. I think I use my time wisely. I should be graduating early in December. I should have most of my hardest classes out of the way, so I can hopefully use that time to focus on football a little bit more,” Hudson said.

“When I’m not playing football, I really like to hang out and lay low, play some video games and watch some movies like the typical college student.”

Like many student athletes, Hudson hopes to someday play at a professional level, but he does have other goals outside of football.

“After graduation, I’ll see how football goes, but if that doesn’t work out, then I will think about going to chiropractor school or physical therapy school,” Hudson said.

Every athlete has someone who influences him or her, and Hudson is no different.

“My parents are my biggest influence on and off the field. They have always provided encouragement and support in everything I do, even when I don’t believe in myself or my football career,” Hudson said. “I didn’t play for a while because I red shirted my freshmen year, and then I was third string again the next year. They have always been there for me and encouraging me. They are my support system.”

Hudson is confident that he can lead the Flames to a successful season this year, and he is ready to battle for his teammates.

“I feel like we have a great chance to have a successful season this year. We’ve got a lot of special talents on this team We are very close knit, and we have great chemistry. I think the sky is the limit for us,” Hudson said. “I think that being quarterback is a great opportunity for me to help lead the way for these guys and to win for them. I want to win for the seniors, most importantly. This is their last go-around, so I am going to try everything that I can for them to make this the greatest season that they’ve ever had.”

Every athlete’s preparation for a game or a season is unique, and the effort put in is reflected when it is “fourth and one,” and the coach opts not to punt.

“This offseason, I tried to work as hard as I could in the weight room and I tried to get faster because I knew that I would have to run the ball this season for us,” Hudson said. “Also, I tried to get as comfortable as I could with the playbook. I knew the more I knew the playbook, the greater chance I would have to play and the more comfortable I got with it the easier it would be come game time.”

Hudson came to Liberty to peruse his athletic career and is excited to hear the first “LU” chant echo off the press box at Williams Stadium.

“I chose Liberty because it was the best opportunity that I would have to play division one football and receive a scholarship. So far, it has worked out with me, and I am happy with my decision.”

The Flames have their sights set on this weekend’s upcoming game against the University of Montana, and though they will be a long way away from their home field, Hudson seems ready to lead his school up against one of the toughest teams in the Mid-West.

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