Jerry Hughes spent his entire high school and collegiate career playing football in the state of Texas.
Hughes played for Sugar Land Stephen F. Austin High School, and later played for the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth. It wasn’t until the Indianapolis Colts drafted him in Round 1 in 2010 that he left Texas.
After spending 2013-21 with the Buffalo Bills, Hughes decided to come back to the greater Houston area and play for his hometown NFL team.
“I was telling my wife this last night: I feel like I’m back in high school, just to be back in the city driving around,” Hughes told reporters June 1 after organized team activities at Houston Methodist Training Center. “We used to play high school games at the Astrodome; very familiar with coming out this way and things like that.”
What warms Hughes is that despite the Houston Astros leading the AL West with a 33-18 record — also second in the American League — the Texans still generate buzz in June.
Said Hughes: “Just being part of this warm environment, football city, where everyone is looking for the Texans, even though it’s baseball season, everybody still wants to know what we are going to do and how the team is looking. I get that just by through walking through H-E-B and things like that.”
Hughes provided the Buffalo Bills with 2.0 sacks through 16 starts last year. With former assistant defensive line coach Jacques Cesaire taking on a bigger role on Lovie Smith’s staff, and fellow Bills teammate Mario Addison also playing along Houston’s defensive line, 2022 has become a season of reunion for Hughes.
“It’s been real cool, just being close to family, high school buddies, college coaches, things like that,” said Hughes. “Not being so far or being in a different time zone, it’s been real relaxing for me being closer to family honestly.”