CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Prather Hudson is betting on himself. It’s nothing new for the Illini grad transfer, who made the move to Illinois from Georgia earlier this year to try and play his way on to the field in the Big Ten.
“I always believe in myself, any situation,” Prather said. “If you told me I’d be in the Big Ten five years ago, I would’ve said you were crazy, for a second there I didn’t even think I was playing football.”
Prather walked on with the Bulldogs before earning a scholarship but he had his sights set on a bigger challenge and when the opportunity presented itself to join new Illini coach Bret Bielema’s team, he jumped at the chance.
“Obviously I want to have a role on defense, and just improve upon myself, and like Coach B says, ‘Be the best me,'” Prather said. “I’m going to be prepared, I’m going to study more than anyone in the room, and well see where the results are during the season.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound safety committed to Illinois in January after playing in 53-staright games at Georgia, mostly on special teams. He knows what it takes to compete at the highest level, winning an SEC championship with the Bulldogs, and playing in the national title game in 2018.
“I’ve gone through a lot in my college process, and I feel like I’ve continued to earn people’s trust here,” he added. “Whatever they need they can lean on me, because I’ve seen it all.”
“That leadership, that example that he has set, the standard that he has set, especially for our room has been key,” Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters said. “And you can’t put a price on that.”
Hudson is heading into his sixth season in the Power 5, bringing plenty of experience to Illinois, where he hopes to start this fall.