|No. 33, 32|
|Position:||Cornerback / Return Specialist|
|Date of birth:||January 14, 1970|
|Place of birth:||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Height:||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight:||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school:||New Orleans (LA) St. Augustine|
|NFL Draft:||1993 / Round: 5 / Pick: 137|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Tyrone Christopher Hughes (born January 14, 1970) is a former American football defensive back in the National Football League for the New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears, and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at the University of Nebraska.
Hughes attended and graduated from St. Augustine High School in New Orleans, where he played football, baseball, basketball and ran track. He played as a cornerback until his senior season, when he was switched to offense and was named Louisiana offensive player of the year and the athlete of the year.
He accepted a football scholarship from the University of Nebraska. In a run-oriented offense he played as a split end. He also was used as a defensive back in specific games (only 5 contests), becoming the first Nebraska player in 26 years to play offense (split end) and defense (cornerback) in the same game (against the University of Missouri) and being designated the spy safety for Florida State University Charlie Ward in the 1993 Orange Bowl.
Hughes was a special teams standout, leading the Big Eight Conference in kickoff returns in each of his last three years, finishing as the school's record-holder in kickoff returns and second all-time in career punt returns. He finished his college career with 31 receptions for 451 yards, 33 rushes for 81 yards and 5 touchdowns. In 2000, he was named to the Nebraska Cornhuskers All-Century team.
New Orleans Saints
Hughes was selected by the New Orleans Saints in the fifth round (137th overall) of the 1993 NFL Draft. The team tried to convert him into a cornerback under the tutelage of the secondary assistant coach Jim Mora Jr., but had mixed results, with his best season coming in 1994,. where he started in 5 games and had 31 tackles, 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles returned for touchdowns.
Where Hughes excelled was on special teams, making the Pro Bowl in his rookie season as a return specialist. On October 23, 1994, in a win against the Los Angeles Rams he set the NFL record for most kickoff return yards in a single-game (304) and the most combined kickoff/punt return yards in a game (347). He also had 2 kick off returns for touchdowns that same game which tied another NFL record.
He led the league in number of kickoff returns and return yards from 1994 to 1996. As a rookie he led the NFL in punt return yards (503) and punt return average (13.6).
Hughes left as the franchise career record holder for kickoff return yards (5,717), punt return yards (1,060) and 5 touchdown returns. He also finished with 67 tackles, 4 interceptions and 4 fumble recoveries. In 2015, Hughes was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame.
On April 11, 1997, he signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Chicago Bears. He struggled on special teams and couldn't find a way to contribute on defense or offense, with the Bears trying him also at wide receiver. He was declared inactive for the last two games of the season. He was released on April 24, 1998.
On December 4, 1998, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Cowboys, who had their top returners injured and needed help for their remaining games and playoff push. He posted 11 kickoff returns for 274 yards (24.9 avg.) and 10 punt returns for 93 yards (9.3 avg.). He wasn't re-signed after the season.
- "Hughes Wants Huskers to Win, Mora to Excel". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Nebraska All-Century Football Team Announced". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- Pro Football Register. St. Louis, MO: Sporting News. 1999. p. 190.
- Mike Reilley, "Hughes Has Day of Record Returns", Los Angeles Times, October 24, 1994.
- Joel A. Erickson, "Michael Lewis, Tyrone Hughes announced as next inductees to Saints Hall of Fame", The Advocate, May 19, 2015.
- "Bears Lure Nickel Back From Saints". Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- "Dear Santa: Send Bye Cowboys a Cinch for Playoffs, But Health Is Concern". Retrieved February 19, 2016.