Not long after Rudy Free had arrived as the new football coach at Kinston two years ago, Addison Hudson approached him in the weight room.
“I really didn’t know a whole bunch of guys – what positions or whatever – but he said, ‘Hey, I want to play running back,’” Free remembers. “I said, ‘OK, you’ll get a chance to.’ I don’t think he had ever played running back before.”
Actually, Hudson had played running back during his youth football days, but not at the high school level to that point.
“I played pretty much everywhere on defense,” Hudson said. “I have played safety, cornerback, inside and outside linebackers, defensive end, but on offense I actually played a slot receiver.”
Hudson was entering his junior season and wanted to give running back a try.
“He said, ‘Well, you’re going to have to outwork everybody and we’ll give you a shot,’” Hudson said of the conversation with the coach. “That’s what I did.”
It certainly proved to be a good move for Hudson and the team.
Over the next two seasons, Hudson compiled 2,500 yards rushing and scored 21 touchdowns. The good work recently led to Hudson signing a scholarship with Faulkner University.
“The reason I feel why Faulkner is best for me is because I go to a small school and it’s a really nice, fun campus to be on,” Hudson said of the college in Montgomery. “It’s a really friendly campus and everybody there pretty much feels like family.”
Hudson had some memorable moments during his senior season, most notably running for 256 yards and four touchdowns during a 36-26 loss at Georgiana.
“That night, I remember I went in there and did what I had to do,” Hudson said. “What I was running was working. The offense was moving really good. They were just handing me the ball and I was doing everything I could do to get those yards.
“Honestly, I give props to the offensive line because without them, none of this would be possible, really.”
He carried the football 39 times that night, a true testament to the durability of the 6-foot-1, 175-pound running back.
“Well, you do everything you can for the team, because the team is like family,” Hudson said. “I did my part. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win that game, but I know everybody that night was doing their best like every other night. We just couldn’t capitalize on it.”
Free says Hudson often surprises opponents with his strength and speed.
“A lot of times he was kind of deceptive because he would carry the pile – a hard runner,” Free said. “Just looking at him at times you wouldn’t think it, but he would run with a little power and deceptive speed.
“He’s always a hard-working guy with a good character. You always kind of knew what you were going to get with him. He runs the ball hard and really enjoyed playing the game.”
Hudson was willing to do whatever it took to move the chains.
“I know down and distance very well,” Hudson said. “Like, if it’s third down and you need four yards, I’ll do everything I can to get it, whether it be making one cut, going to the left or right, or just having to run through someone and having to carry the pile. I’ll do it all, really.”
With his college career on the horizon, Hudson offered some words of wisdom for others.
“If I have one thing to say to all of the kids out there, it’s just follow your dreams, kind of like what DeVonta Smith (Alabama receiver) said,” Hudson said. “You don’t have to be the biggest guy, you don’t have to be the strongest guy, just put your mind to it and God will lead you to wherever you need to go.”