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Touted 2015 signee Mike Hughes no longer a part of Tar Heels team

An off-field issue provided a hiccup for Mike Hughes’ 2015 season, and now it appears off-field issues will keep him off the field for North Carolina in 2016 as well.

A UNC official confirmed to the New Bern Sun Journal that Hughes is no longer a member of the Tar Heels football program. “Personal reasons” were cited for Hughes’ separation from the team.

In October, Hughes was charged with one count of misdemeanor assault inflicting serious injury while a teammate, fellow defensive back M.J. Stewart with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery. The fight that led to the arrest and charges stemmed from an incident at a frat house; the alleged victims went to police Thursday, 11 days after the incident, to inform them that they had decided to press charges.

In mid-October, Hughes and Stewart were indefinitely suspended. Hughes ended up serving a two-game suspension.

Despite that suspension, Hughes went on to play in 12 of UNC’s 14 games as a true freshman. He was ultimately credited with 11 tackles.

A four-star member of the Tar Heels’ 2015 recruiting class, Hughes was rated as the No. 18 “athlete” in the country and the No. 10 player at any position in the state of North Carolina. Just one member of UNC’s class that year, defensive end Jalen Dalton, carried a higher rating than Hughes.