The backfield this year has a lot of talent at Cedartown High School, all with opportunities to shine in a region that is full of prospects heading to Division I schools all over the southeast.
At the center of the offense and controlling the ball is an example of that growing talent in the form of quarterback Taji Hudson.
Make no mistake: it is difficult not to find him on the football field. His 6-foot-4 stature stands out behind the offensive line when he backs up to pass, or hands off the ball to one of several key Bulldogs pushing forward at his side.
He joined the ranks of recent commits with his announcement that he’ll be accepting an offer to East Carolina following his graduation with the class of 2020.
Hudson, like Pryor, comes into his senior year with a solid footing moving forward. The coming season is to be his second under center for Cedartown. His turn-around from the start of the 2018 season to now comes at a time when Head Coach Doyle Kelley is relying on him and other veterans to take the lead.
For Hudson, that means he’ll have to step up on both sides of the ball at times. He might be the Bulldogs main quarterback, but he’s also available on the roster to step in as a defensive back as well.
At practice midweek ahead of the Morrow scrimmage, Kelley said he saw the skills coming out when the team came together for a huddle at the end and Hudson spoke up. The team ran through drills and plays with the push forward he liked to see ahead of the squad’s first time on the field.
Hudson especially put in the work a passer, blocker and pushing ahead on the ground.
“It’s like Taji was saying when we broke it down. This might be the best practice we’ve had all year,” Kelley said as the team was heading toward the locker room. “That’s a very positive thing to see.”
He added later that expectations are high this year for Hudson and this year’s senior class overall.
Hudson’s leadership role of the Bulldog squad is among the many roles he plays as quarterback. After all, among all the players with a defined role on the squad he is most responsible for dictating the pace of any of the games they play this year.
Look back to a year ago, when junior Hudson was coming off a lingering injury that made him miss most of summer camp.
After a bit of a slow start to the 2018 campaign, Hudson caught stride midway through the season. He will look to lead the Bulldogs to another playoff appearance this year.
Kelley has high praise for Hudson in other areas beside football.
“Taji is a special kid. He has all the tools to be successful at any level. He can sling it, he can pull it down and run, he makes good decisions and can keep a play alive with his feet. He’s a member of National Honor Society, too, and takes care of work in the classroom. He is the definition of a student-athlete.”
One thing that won’t be weighing on his mind is where he’ll land in 2020 after he takes the uniform of a Pirate for East Carolina. He announced his commitment to the school after he graduates at the end of the school year back in July.
Kelley said at the time that the Pirates recruited Hudson as a quarterback rather than as wide receiver or defensive back.
Hudson also plays baseball and is a member of the National Honor Society. A young man who takes education just as seriously as athletics, the Pirates won the Hudson sweepstakes over schools such as Army, Coastal Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
East Carolina is a Division I college in Greenville, North Carolina. They compete in The American Conference against the likes of UCF, Houston, and Memphis.
The Pirates have a storied football program that have produced multiple NFL starters including Vikings defensive tackle Linval Joseph, Falcons wide receiver Justin Hardy, and former NFL rushing leader Chris Johnson.
Now that his recruitment is over, the Cedartown quarterback looks forward to the start of the 2019 season.