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Gorman: McKeesport's Hudson has name brand

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Eric Schmadel | For the Tribune-Review
McKeesport running back Khaleke Hudson celebrates a first-half touchdown against Penn-Trafford during a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal playoff game Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at Norwin.
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Khaleke Hudson has a distinctive first name but a familiar family line to follow.

The McKeesport junior (whose name is pronounced kuh-leak) is related to the Cash and Herriott families, names that resonate in the school's football lore.

His uncle, Lance Cash, played safety for the Tigers and at Akron. A cousin, Kinnan Herriott, played safety at McKeesport and linebacker at Connecticut.

“It's a bunch of big names, and you want to be a big name, too,” Hudson said. “You want to show that you can come out of McKeesport and you can make it, that you can be a role model for the younger kids.”

The 6-foot, 205-pound Hudson is on his way to becoming the next big hit for the Tigers, thanks to his fondness for being a big hitter in the secondary.

“He's built like a bodybuilder — and it's all natural — and he hits,” McKeesport coach George Smith said. “He'll lay the wood to you. He's a vicious hitter.”

Whether that's blocking or tackling doesn't matter to Hudson, who craves contact.

“I love to bring the wood,” Hudson said. “It's in my blood to hit somebody.”

And it's in his bloodlines to play college football. His brother, Carlos, is a freshman linebacker at Slippery Rock. Khaleke has scholarship offers from Pitt, West Virginia and Akron, as well as interest from BCS schools.

“Right now, it's on athletic ability,” Smith said. “He's still learning. He wants to make every tackle, to knock people out. He has to understand how people are going to handle him.”

For now, Khaleke Hudson remains a name that rings a bell.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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