By Charlotte McCauley
Jake Hudgins and his Dunwoody High School teammates would get fired up for football games by standing behind a huge banner and chanting before they burst into the stadium. Those moments are part of what keeps him coming back to the sport.
“It’s an adrenaline rush,” Hudgins said. “It’s exciting and you can’t find it anywhere else.”
Football is in his blood. His grandfather was MVP on Auburn’s first national championship team and went on to play in the NFL, winning the Super Bowl with the 49ers.
Jake started his athletic career in third grade. He played at Murphey Candler Park and quickly moved up to the Atlanta Colts traveling team. As he progressed, he played on teams from Peachtree Middle School, Dunwoody High School and Dunwoody Senior Baseball. He ran track beginning his sophomore year, but as Jake puts it, “football is my niche.”
Jake has excelled off the football field, too. He thinks it is important to emphasize the “student” portion of “student athlete.”
He was one of 11 students awarded the George Morris Scholar-Athlete Scholarship, which recognizes excellence in academics, athletics and extra-circular activities. He has served as president of Dunwoody High School’s National Honor Society, and been a member of the Student Government Association and the Beta Club.
Jake’s football coach, James Showfety, agrees that Jake is very deserving of the honor. “There is no young man who better exemplifies the meaning of student-athlete than Jake Hudgins,” Showfety said. “He is an exceptional leader on and off the field and he is the type of person who will be very successful no matter what he decides to do in life. He sets a great example for everybody.”
When not on the football field or in the classroom, Jake can be found working with his new business “Dunwoody Speed.” Jake and fellow athlete Chris Varalla’s program is geared toward third to eighth grade athletes seeking to build not only physical ability, but also to understand the importance of nutrition and academics.
“It’s nice to be able to teach someone what you have learned and gained,” Jake said.
Jake seems to approach life the way he plays football. He works hard in everything that he does, never giving up and having a steadfast, positive attitude.
He attributes his character to his coaches and teammates, he said.
Jake plans to attend Davidson College in the fall, where he was recruited to be a lineman on their football team. He intends to follow a premed track in his studies, with the hopes of becoming a doctor specializing in sports medicine.