Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Hudson and father visit Hogs
Combination guard Jalen Hudson, who officially visited Arkansas over the weekend, attends the same school that produced NBA superstar LeBron James. He's used the opportunity to learn from Coach Dru Joyce II, who also coached James.
“He is a man of Christian faith,” Hudson said. “Every practice, we pray before and you just get a feeling of family. Even after we break and before we go home we say 'Irish Family.' We are just reminded every day of the family that we are.”
Hudson, 6-5, 190 pounds of Akron, (Ohio) St. Vincent-St. Mary has approximately 25 scholarship offers, including Arkansas, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Massachusetts. He and Joyce fell short of the Division II state title by a score of 55-52 to Columbus Watterson in March.
“Everybody that loses is going to say that team wasn't as good as us, but we could really see that and that's what makes it hurt even more,” said Hudson, who averaged 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists a game this past season in high school. “I think they only had one Division I player signed to play at the next level and we had at least three.”
Hudson was joined by his father, Jerry on the visit to Arkansas. The elder Hudson and associate head coach Melvin Watkins were fraternity brothers at North Carolina-Charlotte.
“It was really good to catch up with him because it has probably been a good 30-something years,” said the elder Hudson. “He is a man that I respect and if my son would decide to come here, that would be a real comfort for me knowing what he stands for. It would almost be like me being here.”
He’s proud of his son for remaining humble through the recruiting process.
“He could potentially feel like he has arrived, but he hasn't,” Hudson said.
The younger Hudson has mentioned waiting to make his college decision before the start of his senior season.
“He wants to try and get this out of the way as early as possible, potentially before his season starts,” said the elder Hudson.“That way he can concentrate on his goal of getting to the national championship tournament and the state championship.”
Being the father, Hudson is glad he can travel with his son and be another eye for him.
“Which is why I am able to go with him and ask about the academic side and make sure that is just as important to the University as his athletics is,” said the elder Hudson.
He and his son are appreciative of the opportunities the 25 or so schools have offered.
“They have been gracious enough to recognize his talent, reaching out to offer him scholarships,” said the elder Hudson. “So before we know exactly what we want to do, we don't want to say or do anything that would offend them.”