Haunted by hurricanes but all is well as Huderson begins Cowboys career

Published 9:53 am Friday, September 3, 2021

Stephon Huderson wasn’t running from New Orleans, rather he was running toward Lake Charles.

On Saturday he starts running for McNeese State. But first, Huderson had to check back home to make sure everything was OK.

Huderson, a graduate transfer from Tulane who will start at running back when Cowboy open the season at home against West Florida, spent the early part of last week checking on friends and family in NOLA.

“It was a rough couple of days but everybody is good,” said Huderson, who added that his family got out of harm’s way as Hurricane Ida approached.

“It was bad,” Huderson said. “I remember watching Hurricane Laura last year hit Lake Charles and feeling bad for those people.”

Now he is one of those and had to watch again as another Category 4 storm hit Louisiana, this time the southeastern part of the state. That’s where Huderson grew up and played four years at Tulane.

“I know they are all good,” he said of his former teammates. “They evacuated to Birmingham (Alabama). That was always the plan we would go over every year. We always had routes to evacuate.”

This time Tulane had to use the exit plan.

“It is sad to see and hear what has happened there and how long they might be off campus,” Huderson said. “They don’t know when they will get back to classes.”

With all safe and accounted for, Huderson has turned his attention back to UWF, the defending Division II national champion, and his final season of college football.

“I’m excited to get out there and play,” Huderson said. “I want to show what I can do and help this team. I get to go out and prove myself to another team and another conference.

“I want to help this team win. This is a great group of guys. We got talent here.”

One area Huderson said he is happy for the upgrade this fall on the offensive line. McNeese added size, depth and talent and he is looking forward to running behind it.

“This offensive line is big time,” he said. “They can open holes.”

That would go a long way in making McNeese an improved and balanced offense.

At Tulane, Huderson ran for 773 yards and four touchdowns over 12 games last fall. He was named to the American Athletic Conference’s second team.

He said he moved to McNeese for his final season because of Cowboys head coach Frank Wilson’s track record with running backs.

“Coach has a history of putting backs in pro football,” Huderson said. “I wanted to go to a place where I could keep learning and get better.”

With hopes of a pro career ahead, Huderson knows it’s the numbers he puts up this fall that will give him the chance.

“I’m just ready go start the season,” he said.

He will get that chance in a matter of hours now, and he can do it with a clear mind.