A Midseason All-American by The Sporting News, Hughes is also one of 15 semifinalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player. Additionally, Hughes appears on the Midseason Watch List for the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation's top defensive end.
Included below are the 15 "Players to Watch" for the 2008 Walter Camp Player of the Year award:
Sam Bradford, QB, Oklahoma
Donald Brown, RB, Connecticut
Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
Chase Daniel, QB, Missouri
Jarrett Dillard, WR, Rice
Graham Harrell, QB, Texas Tech Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU
James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
Jeremy Maclin, WR/KR, Missouri
Rey Maualuga, LB, USC
Aaron Maybin, DL, Penn State
Colt McCoy, QB, Texas
Scott McKillop, LB, Pittsburgh
Javon Ringer, RB, Michigan State
Tim Tebow, QB, Florida
Hughes tops the nation with 14 sacks. No other player in the country has more than 11. The 14 sacks are a Mountain West Conference record and are closing in on the TCU mark of 17 set by Bo Schobel in 2003.
A junior from Sugar Land, Texas, Hughes is third in the nation with 17.5 tackles for loss while tying for third with five forced fumbles. He is tied for fourth in the country with three fumble recoveries. Hughes also has two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown.
Hughes was the Walter Camp Football Foundation and FWAA/Bronko Nagurski Trophy National Defensive Player of the Week after his four sacks and two forced fumbles in a 32-7 win over then-No. 8 BYU. He is a three-time Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Week this season.
Hughes anchors a TCU defense that leads the nation in run defense (39.5 yards per game) and sacks (40) while ranking second in total defense (220.0 yards per game) and third in scoring defense (11.0 points per game).
The 15th-ranked Horned Frogs are 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the Mountain West Conference.
Five finalists for the 2008 Walter Camp Player of the Year will be announced on Dec. 2. The award is voted on by the Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors. The winner will be announced on Dec. 11 during the 6 p.m. edition of ESPN's SportsCenter.
The recipient will receive his trophy at the Foundation¹s annual national awards banquet on Jan. 17 at Yale University. Tickets ($275) are available by calling (203) 288-CAMP.
³It¹s been an exciting college football season with many teams and players still in the hunt for national recognition,² Walter Camp Football Foundation president John Barbarotta said. ³We¹ve identified 15 players to watch because the final few weeks of the regular season should be even more thrilling.²
Walter Camp, ³The Father of American Football,² first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp a former Yale University athlete and football coach is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to 11 men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation a New Haven-based all-volunteer group was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.