By Mason Kelley
When Evan Hudson was a walk-on tight end, he believed he belonged. When the he was a defensive lineman fighting for a spot in Washington’s lineup, he believed he belonged. And, now that he is a starter for the Huskies, he continues to believe he belongs.
The 6-foot-6, 273-pound senior has pushed himself to this point, because he always knew where he would end up.
“I always thought I was good enough to play here,” Hudson said. “I proved it to the coaches on the old staff, and they honored me with a scholarship. It’s been a fun ride.”
Recruited as a pitcher out of high school, Hudson has switched sports. He has switched positions. But, no matter what happened, he “never looked back.”
“I’m just trying to be the best I can,” Hudson said. “You can’t really control anything else, but what your play results in. I’m just trying to get better every day.”
As he works through his final collegiate camp, he has finally found where he fits. He started every game as a junior and, after spending the offseason training with the defensive line, Hudson said the consistency has helped him grow his game.
“I think it’s that way for anyone,” Hudson said. “The more you play, the more confidence you have, the more you get a feel for the game.”
With Hau’oli Kikaha and Danny Shelton joining the senior as veterans on the defensive line, Hudson likes what he has seen so far.
“The more you play together, the more you know what they’re going to do,” Hudson said.
Ask Hudson about his individual goals and he shifts the attention to the team.
“I want a Pac-12 championship,” he said. “That’s a goal for this year, my last year. I think we’ve got a team that can do it. We’ve got a solid team, but we’ve got to take it one game at a time. I’m looking forward to Hawaii.”
Since he is hesitant to talk about himself, Shelton spoke up for him.
“I really think he can be one of the greatest players we have here right now,” Shelton said. “He has the physical abilities, but it’s a process. He’s making the changes, the improvements that we need. He’s doing a great job.”
Despite everything Hudson has accomplished, he remains the same guy who joined the program as a walk-on. He believes he belongs, and that’s all that matters.