Former Valley and Harris County star shining at the next level

Published 11:47 am Saturday, December 30, 2023

Former Valley and Harris County High School alum K.D. Hutchinson is starting to make waves at the next level as he was recently named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team as a wide receiver. 

“Any award, just to be able to have and just to be able to say I’ve done it, it’s kind of like you have a whole bunch of things on your checklist that you want to check off,” Hutchinson said. “That’s just another thing that I can add to it and put on my resume. It’s a blessing. Really that’s all it is, a blessing. God is moving.” 

Hutchinson earned that honor after having a breakthrough season as a redshirt freshman. He finished the season with 216 total yards and three touchdowns. 

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Hutchinson played in 13 games this season for Western Kentucky after appearing in just two games as a true freshman. 

Despite being a dynamic athlete, Hutchinson still had to wait his turn. Once he finally got the opportunity to make more of an impact, he never looked back. 

“It’s a process, it’s a grind from year to year,” Hutchinson said. “It’s kind of hard going somewhere and being the best to come out of your team to now be the three or four. It was rough, but as you continue to learn more things in college, it comes to be easier and everything starts to set in place.” 

Hutchinson is originally from Valley, and he attended Valley High School until his junior year. Before his junior season, Hutchinson decided to move to Harris County High School. The decision came from wanting to switch to wide receiver, his more natural position, after playing quarterback for the Rams. 

Despite not finishing his high school journey at Valley, Hutchinson said the community and school are still dear to him, and he still bleeds orange and blue. Hutchinson made the business decision to go to Harris County and earn more exposure as a wideout. 

“I’m born and raised Valley Ram, I’ll always be a Valley Ram,” Hutchinson said. “That was a business decision.” 

Hutchinson spent his entire life in Valley and in the school system before eventually changing schools. Throughout high school, Hutchinson always felt the support of the community, and he has continued to see that support since arriving at the next level. 

“It’s good to have people in your hometown that believe in you and [want] to see you thrive,” Hutchinson said. “I’m a big person of don’t ever forget where you come from.” 

It was a tough decision, but transferring to Harris County was ultimately the right move for Hutchinson. After transferring, Hutchinson became a three-star prospect and received several offers from Division I schools before eventually signing with Western Kentucky. 

Harris County was led by Mario Walker at the time. Hutchinson credits Walker and other members of the coaching staff for helping him get to where he is now. 

“Jamarkis Holmes, he was my receiver coach, me and him had a lot of talks,” Hutchinson said. “He took me under his wing. They knew I was from another place, settled me in and just allowed me to be who I am.” 

Hutchinson’s teammates at Harris County allowed him to come in and make plays, without being jealous of the new guy. That allowed Hutchinson to blossom into a better playmaker. 

Early on in his career, Hutchinson has noticed major differences in college and high school football. Hutchinson has had to adjust to the game speed and work on learning different schemes. 

“It’s not like high school,” Hutchinson said. “Football is all about drives and schemes. Learning how to play and be yourself within schemes is the biggest thing.” 

Hutchinson has already started to make a name for himself, and that continued during bowl season. Western Kentucky found themselves down 28 against Old Dominion in the Famous Toastery Bowl before leading one of the biggest comebacks this bowl season. 

The Hilltoppers stormed back to draw within seven of the Monarchs. Up to that point, Hutchinson had a quiet game with no targets. The team still trusted him in that moment, and Hutchinson caught a 15-yard touchdown to send it into overtime. Western Kentucky won the game 38-35 in overtime. 

“It means a lot,” Hutchinson said. “Our coach tells us, you never know when it’s your time. You never know when it’s going to be that play. It just so happened that my play was at the end of the game. It was kind of a quiet day for me up until that point. Allowing me to score that touchdown, and not only score that touchdown but the game-tying touchdown… it’s a blessing for real.” 

Hutchinson has always believed in his abilities, and that has shown early on. Hutchinson hopes that athletes in Valley and Harris County see him and other alumni at the same level succeeding and know that they can do it too. 

“You’ve got to be ready,” Hutchinson said. “You’ve got to go in there with tough skin, ready to work. You can teach schemes, you can teach X’s and O’s, but you can’t teach hard work.”