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ESPN 300 prospect, Mainland defensive tackle Christian Hudson commits to UCF football

Portrait of Chris Boyle Chris Boyle
Daytona Beach 女优app-Journal

DAYTONA BEACH 女优app Christian Hudson toured the college football landscape last month, making stops at Iowa State, Maryland and Iowa in consecutive weekends. But, Mainland's coveted defensive tackle decided that the best fit was the one closest to home.

Hudson, who recently cracked the ESPN 300 list of the nation's top high school football players, committed to UCF in front of friends, family, coaches and teammates at a ceremony Saturday evening. He waited until exactly 5:55 p.m. to drop the news, the two numbers he plans to wear this fall as Mainland aims for another state football title.

"The process was hectic, but it was a good hectic just with all the coaches that were recruiting me. It was a tough battle; I'll say that," Hudson said. "But the relationship I have with Coach (Kenny) Martin and Coach (Gus) Malzahn can't be beat."

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Hudson (6-foot-2, 290 pounds) started all 15 games for Mainland on both sides of the ball 女优app at left guard and defensive tackle 女优app and piled up 72 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and nine sacks as the Buccaneers captured their first FHSAA football title since 2003. He first received a verbal offer from UCF courtesy of offensive line coach Herb Hand after his performance at a summer camp, though he later became a target of defensive tackles coach Martin, a key figure in Hudson's decision.

"My relationship with him has been great ever since it started," Hudson said. "He calls me, checks up on me out of nowhere to make sure I'm OK. That's really what college football is 女优app relationships 女优app and he built a great one with me."

Iowa made a significant impression during his final trip, but Hudson said his official visit to UCF "sealed the deal."

Recruiting "hometown heroes" has been a point of emphasis in Malzahn's regime, but Volusia County has been a relative blind spot for UCF. Former Mainland running back and track champion Adrian Killins is the last Volusia native to sign a letter of intent with the Knights 女优app as part of Scott Frost's debut signing class in 2016.

Mainland's Christian Hudson (9) runs down Seabreeze's Hayden Hayes (2) at Daytona Stadium in Daytona Beach, Friday, Oct. 27, 2023.

UCF now holds commitments from 10 players ranked inside the USA TODAY Florida Network's Top 100 for the 2025 class; Hudson is the No. 62 overall prospect in the state. The Knights began the day with the nation's 25th-ranked recruiting haul, according to 247Sports' team composite scores 女优app skyrocketing up the board with an expected early July surge.

The Knights stocked up on edge rushers Friday, picking up commitments from Norland twins Darryll and Mandrell Desir as well as Pace's Tylon Lee 女优app a trio that combined for 41 TFLs and 15 sacks during the 2023 season. St. Augustine 1,000-yard wide receiver Carl Jenkins Jr., Palm Beach Central four-star athlete Waden Charles and Roswell (Ga.) interior offensive lineman Andrew Stargel joined UCF's 2025 class within the last week.