The Alabama Sports Writers Association announced its finalists for the annual “Player of the Year” banquet, to be held on Jan. 13, in Montgomery, and included among the trio nominated for ‘lineman of the year’ honors in Class 2A is Elba Tiger senior Blaine Hudson. Hudson, a 6-5, 295-pound, verbal commit to Troy University, helped lead his team to the Class 2A state championship, and is called by Elba High head football coach Ed Rigby “the glue that helped hold the team together.” Hudson was the only Wiregrass player to be named as a finalist, and during his senior season averaged three pancake blocks a game and graded out at 88 percent for the year with his offensive line responsibilities. He postponed surgery to have his gall bladder removed to be with the team in the playoffs, and started all five games in the post-season despite losing over twenty-pounds because of a strict diet to help combat pancreatitis. “Blaine was unbelievable in the fact he sacrificed himself for the sake of the team to help us get back to the state championship game,” said Coach Rigby. “His unselfishness was unbelievable and he was without a doubt the cement and the glue in our offensive line. He was a big part of the puzzle in getting us back to the state finals and winning the state championship. I give a lot of credit for our success to Blaine and his desire and dedication to the program.” “Blaine has a big frame and really hits the weights hard in the off-season to be the best he can be,” added Coach Rigby. “A big thing in the past off-season was the extra time he spent working on his foot work, and he did that by jumping ropes, bags and other speed and agility drills. He really improved and that helped open up college opportunities. He is a force as a run blocker and can put his weight forward and mash people.” Hudson was also named on Dec. 30, to the USA-Today 2015 American Family Insurance All-USA Alabama Football Team, as an offensive lineman. Hudson is the son of Troy and Susan Johnson Hudson, of Elba, and is a senior at Elba High School.