• John Macon Gillespie

Huddleston Doubling Up On Fortius

To say the Tupelo High Golden Wave football team was deep at running back last year would be unfair. They lost senior David Birks to injury, and opened the position up after that. Six different players rushed for at least 150 yards last season, including quarterback Daniel Bristow who had 422 yards.

It was junior Kegan Huddleston who led the Wave in rushing with 577 yards, even though he only the second most carries on the team. He finished with 88 carries, averaging 6.6 yards per. He also lead the team with seven rushing touchdowns.

He made himself even more valuable with his ability to make plays in the passing game. He finished with 11 catches for 209 yards, an impressive 19 yards per catch, and two touchdowns. His 88-yard touchdown reception against Hernando was big key in the Wave’s 31-17 victory.

“What makes me a successful player is working hard, staying on track and keeping God first through everything,” Huddleston told SES Mississippi. “The backfield was crowded last year, but somebody had to step up. I said to myself nobody is going to out-work me.”

After the holiday break, Huddleston began school for the spring semester at Shannon High school. Ironically enough his best game of last season came against the Red Raiders when he carried it five times for 109 yards, including a 90-yard touchdown run.

He sees a lot of the same things on the depth chart now as he did at Tupelo.

“It’s crowded down here, so it’s the same mindset and process,” He said. “I just have to play my part, keep my head up and let God do the rest. Everything will work itself out.”

Being a Red Raider holds special meaning to Huddleston, but also brings expectations. His father, Fred, starred for the Red Raiders in his high school days.

“It really means a lot to me and it’s a dream come true being where my dad played is a big step and a bullseye on me,” He said. “It’s a legacy and an honor.”

“My dad broke a lot of records and it’s a lot of pressure on me, but thats where I get even better. I can’t do what my dad did back then, but my goal is to be better than my dad was. Be faster, bigger and stronger. He always told me to want to be better, go chase my dreams and be the wonderful young man I am today.”

This offseason in order to improve his all-around game, Huddleston is working to be even better coming out of the backfield in the passing game.

“I’m looking to develop my route-running and my ability to make hard catches. I want to get even faster. I’m looking to develop everything,” He said.

He will get a chance to work on those skills this spring as he has plans not only to attend the Fortius Project stop at Petal on March 5th, but also the April 30th stop at ICC.

“What attracts me to coming to the Fortius camp is competing against the best of the best and meeting top-not players,” Huddleston said. “I’m looking forward to the drills as well.”

“I will show off in the 40, cone, shuttle, vertical, 1-on-1, everything really, because I have the mindset that I can’t be beat by the help of the Lord.”

Whatever his roll is next season, whether it be increased carries or more opportunities in the passing game he says he will except it and play his part.

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