|Height: 6.01||Born: Saginaw, MI|
|Weight: 247||College: Northwood University|
|Birthdate: 1983-12-14||Years: 6 CGY / 6 CFL|
|Status: Import||Games Played: 88|
Calgary signed Hughes as a free agent on June 29, 2008. He attended National Football League camps with the Detroit Lions and New York Jets in 2007 and with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009.
Hughes played 16 games and registered 39 tackles including three tackles for a loss, a league-leading 18 sacks, an interception, three knockdowns and tied for a team-high three forced fumbles. He recorded six multiple-sack games. He was on the injured list for Games 4 and 5. He earned CFL defensive player of the week for his perfomance in Week 1 when he had three QB sacks and four tackles and again in Week 10 for his three-sack game on Labour Day. In Week 18 he won the CFL's top defensive player of the week for a third time with his three-sack effort against Saskatchewan. Hughes also started in the Western Final and recroded four tackles. He was named a West Division all-star, a CFL all-star and a CFLPA all-star and was the West nominee for the CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player.
Hughes was in action for all 18 of the Stamps’ regular-season contests and all three playoff outings as he earned West Division, CFL and CFL Players’ Association all-star recoginition. He was the Stamps’ nominee for the league’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player award as he recorded a career-high 11 sacks, which left him just one behind the league leader. It was the first time a Stamps player reached double digits in sacks since 2003. Hughes shared the CFL lead with five forced fumbles and was second on the Stampeders with seven tackles for loss. He finished with 53 defensive tackles, six special-teams tackles, three pass knockdowns and one interception. Hughes was named the CFL’s defensive player of the week for Week 9 as he recorded two sacks and an interception in a win over Saskatchewan. In the playoffs, he registered nine tackles, one sack and one pass knockdown.
Hughes played 16 regular-season games for Calgary as well as the West Division semifinal. He led the Stampeders with seven sacks, marking the fourth consecutive season Hughes either held or shared the team lead in that category. His 40 tackles were tops among Stamps who played exclusively on the defensive line in 2011. Hughes also had two fumble recoveries, four tackles for loss, four pass knockdowns and six special-teams tackles. He had two long returns on the season including a 71-yard fumble recovery that he took 71 yards for a touchdown on Oct. 1 against Saskatchewan and an interception that he brought back 67 yards on Oct. 21, also against the Roughriders. Hughes also picked on Saskatchewan for both of his two-sack games during the season — on July 30 and on Oct. 1. His season high in tackles was seven and came in the Sept. 5 Labour Day Classic against the Edmonton Eskimos. He also had five-tackle games against the Riders on Aug. 12 and again on Oct. 1. He had two tackles, including one tackle for loss, in the West semifinal against Edmonton.
Hughes dressed for 15 regular-season games as well as the West final, making a dozen starts at defensive end. He was named a West Division all-star for the first time in his career after sharing the team lead with seven sacks and he topped Calgary’s defensive linemen with five tackles for loss. In a three-game stretch from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, Hughes recorded four sacks including two quarterback drops in an Oct. 1 victory over the Montreal Alouettes. For the season, he accumulated 35 defensive tackles, eight special-teams tackles, forced two fumbles and knocked down three passes. In an Oct. 22 game against BC, Hughes forced a fumble by Lions quarterback, Travis Lulay that was recovered by Stamps linebacker Keon Raymond and returned 47 yards for a touchdown. Hughes recorded at least one tackle in every regular-season in which he appeared, with a single-game high of four on three separate occasions.
After spending training camp with the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Hughes rejoined the Stamps in September and made an immediate impact. He recorded a pair of sacks, seven tackles, and three special-teams tackles in his season debut on Sept. 18 at Hamilton. Hughes also had two sacks in each of his next two games — against BC on Sept. 25 and against Hamilton on Oct. 3. His six sacks for the season were good for a share of the team lead. Hughes is the Stampeders active leader in sacks. In eight regular-season games, he made 24 tackles, including three tackles for loss, 12 special-teams tackles, a forced fumble and two pass knockdowns. He played in both of Calgary’s post-season games and turned in an eight-tackle, one-sack performance against Saskatchewan in the West final.
In his first season with the Stamps, Hughes appeared in 16 regular-season games, including 15 starts, and shared the team lead in sacks with five. He was second on the team with 66 tackles, including a CFL-leading 12 tackles for loss. He also had one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and five pass knockdowns. Hughes recovered a crucial fumble in the West final and made four tackles in the game that sent the Stamps to the Grey Cup.
Hughes played four years at Northwood University. As a senior, he led all of Div. II with an average of 6.5 solo tackles per game and was named an All-American. He finished his collegiate career with 372 tackles, including 36 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and six interceptions. The Timberwolves reached the playoffs three times with Hughes and won Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in 2004.
Before signing with the Stampeders, Hughes played for a semi-pro team called the Mid-Michigan Admirals and an indoor football team in Muskegon, Mich. He was a star at Saginaw High School where his teammates included LaMarr Woodley, who went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers.