Hughes on brother watching over him

Last Tuesday, Robert Hughes received the worst news of his life.

His older brother, Tony, just 24 years old, was shot and killed.

For Robert, Tony was everything to him. He was his mentor, his role model, his physical trainer. They would run together, work out together.

They were best friends.

Confused about life, Robert returned to Notre Dame just one day after his brother's passing.

He wanted to be with his team.

So he practiced on Wednesday and Thursday.

Friday was the funeral.

One day after burying his brother, Robert suited up to face Navy.

He scored the game's first touchdown. Teammates huddled around him on the field.

He ran to the sideline. He passed the game ball off to Charlie Weis and shared a hug with his coaches.

The ball is now with his family in Chicago.

Hughes says he doesn't feel like he honored his brother by scoring the touchdown, but felt his brother was with him on the special moment.

"I just felt like he was looking down on me," Hughes said Tuesday, one week after Tony's death. "Wherever he is, he's smiling and saying 'congratulations' to me."

"At the Michigan State game, he was there when I scored my first touchdown. I saw how happy he was. When i scored this one this game, I just went back and relayed when that happened," says Hughes.

Hughes says nothing has been normal since last Tuesday. He doesn't expect it to feel that way for quite a while.

What he does know is that he has great support around him at home and here at Notre Dame.

Hughes says he is beyond grateful for the way his coaches and teammates have supported him.

He says it was very helpful to have 50 of his teammates on hand for his brother's funeral.

It also meant alot to him that Coach Weis drove him home last Thursday before the funeral.

Hughes says it shows how much Weis cares about his players and it was a special time for him to express his feelings to his coach.


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