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High School Recruiting

McKeesport safety Khaleke Hudson chooses Michigan

Kevin Gorman
| Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, 3:15 p.m.

Khaleke Hudson already had his mind made up, but before the All-America safety could announce his college choice he had to fend off two coaches.

Pitt's Pat Narduzzi and Penn State's James Franklin visited McKeesport on Wednesday to try to remind him that he was a priority.

Hudson verbally committed to Michigan, picking the Wolverines over Penn State, Pitt and UCLA.

“It was real hard,” Hudson said. “I had to weigh the pros and cons of every school. At the end of the day, Michigan stood out most to me. It was where my heart was and where I wanted to be in the future.

“I just felt Michigan was the best place for me. That's why I'm going there.”

Hudson took official visits to Michigan two weeks ago, Penn State this past weekend and UCLA in December. He canceled a trip to Pitt scheduled for this weekend.

There was something about Ann Arbor that felt like home to Hudson.

“When I went on my visit, I really liked it. I was talking with their coaches and being around the players and it felt like a family, like they already have a family bond together,” Hudson said. “You could see life not only on the football field but in the classroom, too. The coaches can help you grow as a man and be a better person.”

The 6-foot, 205-pound Hudson, who starred in the Semper Fidelis All-American Game, was one of the most heavily recruited players in the WPIAL from the Class of 2016. He joins a Michigan class that Rivals.com ranks fourth nationally.

A four-year starter who also starred at running back for the Tigers, Hudson rushed for 1,268 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, averaging 10.7 yards per carry. He ran for 1,644 yards, averaging 9.4 yards per carry, and scored 26 touchdowns in 2014.

Hudson is projected to play strong safety, where he had six interceptions the past two years and impressed with his physical prowess and playmaking.

Hudson announced his decision on his Twitter account, posting a picture titled, “Cha21ng History.” It was a reference to his No. 21 jersey, the same number worn at Michigan by legends like Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard and Tim Biakabutuka and recent stars Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon.

“They said I might have a chance of getting it,” Hudson said. “That's a huge thing because the past people who wore it, they're greats. If I get a chance to wear it, it will mean a lot because I know they're putting their trust in me to do great things like people who wore No. 21 in the past did.”

Hudson said Pitt's Narduzzi and Penn State's Franklin, both of whom were joined by several assistants, didn't pressure him to change his mind but rather reminded him their offers still stood if anything changes before Signing Day on Feb. 3.

“They're all good coaches. I don't have nothing bad to say about any of the coaches,” said Hudson, who is impressed by Jim Harbaugh, the former Michigan and NFL quarterback and Stanford and San Francisco 49ers coach. “Coach Harbaugh, he's a great coach. He really wants to get nothing but the best out of you. He really cares about his players. He's turning the program around at Michigan.”

Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at kgorman@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

McKeesport safety Khaleke Hudson sits at his locker on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.
Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
McKeesport safety Khaleke Hudson sits at his locker on Wednesday, July 29, 2015.
McKeesport running back Khaleke Hudson (21) celebrates his second-quarter touchdown during a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal against Penn-Trafford on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Gateway.
Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
McKeesport running back Khaleke Hudson (21) celebrates his second-quarter touchdown during a WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinal against Penn-Trafford on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Gateway.
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