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Mississippi State Football 2013 Impact Players: No. 15-- Jay Hughes

Jay Hughes pushed for a starting position all the way until the season opener against Jackson State in 2012. Injuries put him in the starting line up near the end of last season.

Chris Graythen

While it is easy to think that 2013 has seen many more question marks in the secondary than the Bulldogs did in 2012, the fact is there were several questions about the Bulldogs at the position last year as well.

Johnthan Banks was a solid starter, but other than that there were several unknowns. Corey Broomfield was making the move to safety. Darius Slay would be starting for the first time opposite of Banks, and Nickoe Whitley was returning from injury. In all, things worked out very well for the Bulldogs.

What some have forgotten is that Jay Hughes pushed Broomfield up to the season opener for the starting spot at strong safety, the position in which he is the starter in 2013. When one considers that Broomfield spent time with some NFL teams following the draft, Hughes should be able to slide into the position and make an impact this season.

One aspect of Hughes' game to watch is the fact that he can make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Last season, he totaled three tackles for a loss. He finished the season with 32 tackles and two passes broken up. Look for those numbers to be larger in the 2013 season.

Starting will not be a new thing for Hughes. As a sophomore, he picked up a couple of spot starts.