Hau’oli Kikaha, the national leader in sacks and tackles for loss, has garnered most of the headlines as the Huskies’ standout defensive end.
On a star-studded UW defense, the revitalized Andrew Hudson is quietly having a great senior season, too.
His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by teammates and coaches.
“Man, he’s just been on fire since fall camp,” Kikaha said. “He’s a different guy.”
Hudson had fallen so far off the depth chart last season that UW’s previous coaching staff had let it be known that it would be best if he transferred after the season.
Chris Petersen and UW’s new coaching staff gave Hudson a second chance, and they certainly aren’t regretting it: Hudson has started every game at defensive end this season for the Huskies, and ranks third on the team in sacks (five) and tackles for loss (six). He’s also among the national leaders in forced fumbles, with three.
“This has definitely been the funnest year of football for me,” Hudson said. “We’re already over halfway through the season (and) each game has been so much more memorable. … It’s obviously night and day from last year, and even from the year before. If it in the game, or even if it’s at the hotel with the guys, that’s a cool time, too. I didn’t realize or appreciate as much until this year, so just a lot of things I’m more grateful for knowing this is the last (time).”
UW’s top defensive lineman as as sophomore in 2012, Hudson hardly played last season, finishing the season with just two tackles.
UW defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski said Hudson’s positive attitude has been the difference this season.
“It’s the perfect example of a guy getting a fresh start and (that’s) a credit to his perseverance,” Kwiatkowski said. “You talk about football and it’s not just wins and losses; there’s a lot of life lessons, and that’s one of them. He had a lot of adversity last year, most of it out of his control but his attitude was all in his control, and he’s the first guy to say, ‘My attitude wasn’t right.’ He flipped the switch and had an awesome senior year.”