UNLV graduate transfer Tim Hough was all set to join the Oregon Ducks until he was hit with a surprise on June 4.
That’s when his daughter, Peyton, was born. It happened earlier than expected, and suddenly the Las Vegas native didn’t feel like moving far from home anymore.
“I graduated May 12 from UNLV and the baby wasn’t supposed to be due till after I went to Oregon,” Hough said. “But she came early, so I had to stay close because then you realize it was more serious than it seems.”
That led the cornerback to join the Arizona Wildcats, whose home stadium is a manageable 400 miles from Vegas.
“That’s why I chose to be in Tucson,” Hough said, “so (Peyton) can come to the games more frequently.”
But there were other selling points, Hough admits. He is extremely close with Arizona linebacker Tony Fields II. The two were teammates at Desert Pines High School. Fields was a freshman when Hough was a senior.
Both described their relationship as a brotherhood.
“Brothers over the world,” Hough said. “I’m going to go with that before anything.”
Hough also wanted a role similar to the one he had at UNLV, where he started in 17 games.
Arizona can offer that.
The Wildcats have two quality starting cornerbacks in Jace Whittaker and Lorenzo Burns, but not much proven talent behind them.
“There’s no point going from a starting position to being behind somebody,” Hough said. “So wherever I go, I was like ‘yeah, I’m going to start.”’
When asked to describe his playing style, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Hough said he is a “dog.” He likes the tenacity Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey plays with.
“Whatever you want to do, I’m going to come back at you,” Hough said. “If you fire at me, I’m going to fire right back.”
While Hough is a senior, he doesn’t figure to take on a leadership role with the Wildcats. He thinks they are already set in that department.
“I’m just going to come in and play my part,” he said.
Besides, Hough is the new kid. Friday was the first day he was able to practice with the team. He missed the first week because he had to wait for his summer school grades to process.
In the meantime, Hough stayed in shape by running, playing basketball, and doing some football drills. His roommate helped him get up to speed mentally.
“I live with Tony Fields so I just used his playbook,” Hough laughed.
Still, it could take some time for Hough to get comfortable with the Wildcats. He thinks cornerback is one of the hardest positions to pick up and play.
“Everything is thinking on the fly,” he explained. “Everybody tells you what to think, but you’ve gotta go with your first instinct. But at the same time, if you go with your first instinct without thinking, it’s iffy.”
Hough had four interceptions at UNLV (all as a freshman) and played in seven games last season, recording 18 tackles and three pass deflections.
He said he enjoyed his time with the Rebels, even though he had three different position coaches in three years.
“There’s no love lost over there, it was just time to move and get out of Vegas,” he said.
But not too far away.
“Since I’m in college right now playing football, I don’t get to see (Peyton) as much but I FaceTime her all the time,” Hough said. “I guess if I’m going to miss anytime it should be this time when they’re young and don’t really know any better.”