It was getting better and better for Mikah Hughes in the recruiting game, but a giant academic opportunity recently presented itself and squashed the competition.

An invitation to attend Harvard after graduating Bullard next May was too much for the senior linebacker to pass up. Through his personal Twitter account, Hughes announced a commitment to the Crimson program Tuesday in favor of chief rival Yale, three other FCS choices and a Division II offer.

Harvard, located in the Boston suburb of Cambridge, Mass., hardly needs an introduction from the academic standpoint. It has been regarded as a top-flight school since its founding in 1636.

No university can match Harvard's extensive list of American leaders. Eight United States presidents either attended the school for undergraduate or postgraduate studies, including sitting president Barack Obama and predecessor George W. Bush.

Current United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon and Liberia president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf also studied at Harvard.

Paired with faculty, Harvard has been home to 153 Nobel laureates. That number leads the world.

The Crimson football program stands out in its own right with seven claimed national championships and 17 Ivy League titles either won outright or shared. While the school and its home league have de-emphasized football, head coach Tim Murphy has a 147-62 record in his 22 seasons as head coach.

Harvard is 829-383-50 through 141 years of competition. It ranks ninth all-time in victories among NCAA Division I teams and ninth regardless of divisions.

Hughes' future team remains in the limelight with an annual game against Yale known as "The Game." ESPN's College Gameday program featured the meeting last season, and the media entity broadcasted the actual game.

"The Game" serves as the conclusion of Harvard's 10-game season. Ivy League teams do not participate in the FCS playoffs.

There's still a lot of work to be done at Bullard though. Hughes' squad returns 15 starters from a team that got out of District 5-4A Division II last season before falling to Tatum in the opening round of the playoffs.

But it will have to survive a district gauntlet featuring defending state champion Gilmer, a Canton team that also returns 15 starters and a strong Melissa program for starters. Emory Rains and Nevada Community round out the league and aren't slouches, either.

Bullard will begin practice for the 2015 season in 13 days. It opens the season at Groesbeck on Aug. 28.

Hughes, like all senior high school football prospects, will become eligible to sign with any program that offers him on Feb. 3, 2016.