Franklin Regional’s Ayden Hudock looking for breakout season

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Saturday, August 13, 2022 | 6:37 PM


Franklin Regional football coach Lance Getsy can’t wait to unveil junior Ayden Hudock on opposing defenses this season.

The coach did so when the multipurpose threat was healthy during his sophomore season.

“People got a small glimpse of Ayden last year,” Getsy said. “Some nagging injuries slowed him down, but if he stays healthy, he has unlimited potential. He could be one of the best wide receivers in the WPIAL this season.”

The 6-foot-2, 185-pounder will line up at receiver on offense and cornerback/safety on defense. He also averaged 43 yards per kickoff return last season, including two touchdowns.

“Teams started kicking away from me,” Hudock said. “Coaches set up a good center wall, and I’d hit the hole. Returning kicks is one of my favorite things. I’m ready to go. I can’t wait for that first game.”

Getsy speaks glowingly about Hudock. He is devoted to football after previously playing baseball, basketball and running track.

“Ayden is tall, fast, athletic and strong,” Getsy said. “He has all the tools. He just has to put it all together.”

Getsy said Hudock has similar tools as 2022 Franklin Regional graduate Caden Smith, the reigning Tribune-Review Westmoreland Boys Athlete of the Year who is a walk-on at Pitt.

Hudock had seven catches for 293 yards and three touchdowns last season. One touchdown reception went for 85 yards. He carried the ball 17 times for 85 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown run.

Getsy expects Hudock to assume a similar role as Smith played last season.

“Caden had more length, and Ayden is probably a little stronger,” Getsy said. “He’s run a 4.5 40-yard dash, and it might even be lower.

“He had little nagging muscle issues last year. We’ve been working with a physical therapist to solve those problems.”

Hudock said the sessions on his hips and groin are making a difference.

“I’m more flexible,” Hudock said. “We’ve been able to loosen up my hamstrings. I feel a lot better.”

Getsy said he plans to utilize Hudock’s talents in different ways.

“We need to get the ball in his hands,” Getsy said. “I’m sure we’ll put in some special packages for him.

“Ayden can play any position in the secondary. He likes to work in the weight room. The junior year is when you want together a film for college scouts.”

Hudock, who added 19 tackles, three interceptions and 15 pass breakups on defense, said Smith helped him a lot last season.

“He picked me up when I was down,” Hudock said. “He tried to keep me confident about my ability.”

Getsy said he got a glimpse on what could be in store for Hudock at 7-on-7 competitions this summer.

“I saw him take over games,” Getsy said. “I also saw times when he’d get frustrated. It’s all a growing process. He’s getting an understanding of what it takes to be successful.”

Added Hudock: “I’ve learned how to run pass routes, read defenses and find holes in the secondary. I like to pattern myself after Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams.”

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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