Nothing could stop Dalton Hughes from playing college ball

For Tupelo's Dalton Hughes, not playing college football, was never an option.

Posted: Dec 16, 2020 10:53 PM
Updated: Dec 17, 2020 9:40 AM

TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- To sign on the dotted line and commit to playing college football, you have to overcome a lot of obstacles, you have to navigate a host of variables, and at any moment the dream may vanish. For Tupelo's Dalton Hughes, not playing college football was never an option.

"I just love football, I love everything about it," Hughes said. "Like literally everything, the small things, the big things, I mean I've been playing since I was seven, I'm glad I have three or four more years playing."

On Wednesday night, Hughes officially signed his letter of intent to play football at South Alabama but to go through what Dalton has been through in his career, you have to love playing. In his sophomore year, he got to see the field on varsity. Then broke his femur.

"I didn't know if i was going to play football again. I mean, I looked down at my leg and it was bad," Hughes said.

After emergency surgery and recovery, Hughes came back and had a solid junior year, leading to multiple offers including South Alabama. His stock was trending up, he wanted to use his senior to keep the momentum rolling, then in the second game of the year against West Point, he broke his foot. 

"It happened in the 3rd quarter and I went to the tent and they told me they didn't want me to go back in," Hughes said. "I said, you're not telling me I'm not going back in, so I ran back and forth, it hurt so bad, they were like run and I did and I was like I'm good."

He played the rest of the game, but afterward, the doctor told him he had a Lisfranc fracture in his foot. His season was finished. And for his mom Alisha, it was the second time in three years she sat by her son in the hospital. Despite being scared for her boy, her message to him was simple:

"I'm really big on things happen how they're supposed to happen," Alisha said. "Sometimes we don't understand why but in the end it all works out the way its supposed to."

In some situations like this, coaches can opt to remove the offer, South Alabama stayed true to their word, but on December 6th, head coach Steve Campbell was fired. 

"It was nerve-wracking, I mean a bunch of stuff went through my head," Hughes said. "I didn't know if I could text other coaches, I mean I stopped all my communications with anyone else."

Hughes had this day planned since verbally committing in the spring. It wasn't until last night that the new head coach reached out and said he would honor the offer.

"I mean it's funny, that was the literally the first time I got to talk to him, and then to get the clarification yesterday that I'm going to be signing it was just a relief," Hughes said.

A relief for Hughes and much-deserved break for a young man who has battled through setback, after setback to get to play college football.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20772248
Hinds19888408
Harrison17489302
Rankin13311275
Jackson13097243
Madison9895210
Lee9856169
Jones8290160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7187237
Lowndes6262144
Lamar610584
Lafayette6027117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4419139
Warren4280118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403675
Neshoba3987176
Lincoln3869108
Hancock372085
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3180104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265779
Wayne261341
Leake261073
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120041
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81823
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518899

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753641487
Mobile37763798
Madison33859494
Tuscaloosa25266443
Montgomery23962565
Shelby23106238
Baldwin20631300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14284311
Morgan14139268
Etowah13662345
Marshall11957219
Houston10380278
Elmore9993200
Limestone9811147
Cullman9470188
St. Clair9426234
Lauderdale9215227
DeKalb8746181
Talladega8058171
Walker7087275
Jackson6754110
Autauga6723103
Blount6483135
Colbert6203130
Coffee5399112
Dale4767110
Russell428838
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia387674
Dallas3527149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256258
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218775
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171440
Washington164038
Macon154548
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 58°
Columbus
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 58°
Oxford
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 52°
Starkville
Clear
50° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 50°
A cold front will move into our area during our Tuesday. This front will bring some chances for some rain and isolated thunderstorms for our Tuesday night. Some of the activity will linger in our area into our Wednesday.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather