Jokes? He’s heard a few.
Hudson Little is a 6-4, 275-pound lineman on the Bishop England football team. His last name and large body make him an easy target.
“I hear them all the time” said Little, a junior who has started for the Bishops on offense and defense since midway through his freshman year. “I’ve heard Hudson ‘Not So’ Little and ‘Little Big Man.’ I’ve heard others, but they’re pretty lame, too.”
Little and his teammates put their eight-game winning streak on the line Friday when the Bishops host Andrews is a second-round Division II-AA playoff game.
The Bishops, who went 8-2 in the regular season and received a first-round bye, also have an eight-game playoff winning streak.
Little doesn’t make headlines or highlight clips. But he’s developing a reputation where it matters most. He’s showing up more often on recruiting boards of coaches.
“I see the newspaper headlines, and see our skill players get the recognition,” Little said. “Running back Nick Shiver gets a lot like, ‘It’s the Shiver Show.’ But when I see his name or another player’s name in the paper, I know I am doing my job, helping him get yardage or a touchdown. When I see a headline, that makes me want to do better. I’m not cocky, I am humble. If someone does their job, that means I am doing my job.”
Coach John Cantey has been high on his lineman since Little’s freshman year.
“He’s an SEC-ACC player,” Cantey said. “The only thing he has to work on is his pass blocking. We don’t throw the football that much.”
The Bishops have attempted only 71 passes in 10 games, but the ground game has been more than consistent. The Bishops are averaging nearly 7.0 yards per carry behind Little and the other linemen.
Little was a freshman in 2011 when the Bishops captured their first state championship. The Bishops finished with a 13-1 record, and many thought they were a one-hit wonder.
The Bishops went 13-1 last fall and repeated as state champs.
“It’s awesome to know you already have two state championships with a chance at two more,” Little said. “I know there are a lot of people who don’t think we have a chance. But I do. I think we have a really good chance to win this year.”
Little missed four games last year with a knee injury but was in action when the Bishops beat Abbeville, 21-0, in the state championship game. He’s been healthy this season, splitting time between offense and defense.
He prefers defense and has 21 tackles on the season, including six for a loss.
“I like playing defense,” he said. “I like being the aggressor, going after the ball. You don’t wait around to get hit like you do on offense.”