Gerald Hodges

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Gerald Hodges
refer to caption
Hodges with the Vikings in 2015
No. 50 – New Orleans Saints
Position: Outside linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1991-01-17) January 17, 1991 (age 26)
Woodbury, New Jersey
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight: 236 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school: Paulsboro (NJ)
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 4 / Pick: 120
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2016
Total tackles: 224
Sacks: 3.5
Forced fumbles: 1
Pass deflections: 10
Interceptions: 3
Defensive touchdowns: 1
Player stats at NFL.com

Gerald Davon Hodges (born January 17, 1991) is an American football outside linebacker for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Penn State. He was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round, 120th overall, of the 2013 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

A native of Paulsboro, New Jersey, Hodges attended Paulsboro High School,[1] where he lettered in football, wrestling and track. He played mainly as a quarterback and safety on the Red Raiders football team, but also saw time as a return specialist.[2] As a senior, he recorded 61 tackles and grabbed one interception on defense; whilst on offense, he ran for 705 yards on 99 carries and threw for 695 yards and 10 touchdowns, playing a key role in helping Paulsboro win two South Jersey Group I titles and four Colonial Conference Patriot Division championships. He was selected first-team All-South Jersey and first-team All-Conference after his junior and senior seasons.

During high school, Hodges was also a captain of both the wrestling and track and field teams. As a wrestler, he finished third in the state with a 40-1 record as a junior.[3] In track & field, he competed as a member of the relay squads, recording personal-best times of 43.84 seconds in the 4 × 100m and 1:32.58 minutes in the 4 × 200m at the 2007 South Jersey Relays.[4] He was also timed at 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

Despite having played safety and quarterback in high school, Hodges was rated as the No. 4 overall outside linebacker in the nation by Scout.com. He was recruited heavily by Penn State linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden. He originally committed to Rutgers, but switched his commitment from Rutgers to the Nittany Lions on December 12, 2008. He also had scholarship offers from Boston College, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Iowa, among others.[5]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40 Commit date
Gerald Hodges
OLB
Paulsboro, New Jersey Paulsboro High School 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 220 lb (100 kg) 4.46 Dec 12, 2008 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout:4/5 stars   Rivals:4/5 stars   247SportsN/A
Overall recruiting rankings:
  • ‡ Refers to 40 yard dash
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height, weight and 40 time.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.

Sources:

College career[edit]

While attending Pennsylvania State University, Hodges played for the Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 2009 to 2012.

Hodges saw limited action on defense his true freshman year, but was a significant contributor on special teams, playing in all 13 games and delivering three tackles. He started the year as a safety, but moved to linebacker partway through the year.[6]

In 2010, Hodges was injured on the first play of the game against Alabama. He missed the next four games before coming back with a vengeance against Minnesota and Michigan, games in which he recorded two and three tackles respectively. He ended the year recording at least four tackles in each of the team's final three games.[6]

Hodges enjoyed a breakout season in 2011 in which he led the team by recording 106 tackles.[7] He also recorded 10 tackles for a loss, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception which he returned 63 yards against Northwestern.[6] In wake of the NCAA sanctions that stemmed from the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, Hodges had the opportunity to transfer, but he ultimately chose to remain loyal to Penn State. Hodges attributed his loyalty to Penn State to his Christian faith. He said, "Every day I wake up and thank God because we could have just been forgotten about. God puts people in my life that are going to help me no matter the situation. He's put coaches in my life that are going to help me out and further my career. Everything, it seems, is working out for the better. I know it might not seem like that ... but when you look deeper and deeper into bowl games and championships, (God) did this for a reason."[2]

Coming into the 2012 season, Hodges was named a preseason first team All-American by Lindy's College Football Preview as well as first team All Big Ten.[8] New coach Bill O'Brien briefly toyed with the idea of using Hodges as a kick returner during the team's first game against the Ohio Bobcats, but stopped after Hodges muffed a punt.[9] In the third game of the year against Navy, Hodges recorded an interception to go along with five tackles.[10] Hodges enjoyed his best game of the season on October 6 against Northwestern when he recorded 11 tackles and a forced fumble.[11] Hodges had another excellent game on November 17 against Indiana in which he recorded 12 tackles and a diving interception.[12][13] It was announced after Penn State's last game that Hodges had been named second-team All-Big Ten.

Professional career[edit]

Prior to the draft, NFL.com graded Hodges at 72/100, listing him as a second to third round pick who should be an eventual starter in the NFL and compared him to former linebacker Quincy Black, who was drafted in the third round of the 2007 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report considered Hodges a fifth-round pick, while NFL analyst Mel Kiper Jr. graded him as a possible third-rounder. CBS Sports had Hodges ranked as the 17th-best linebacker prospect in the draft.

At the Combine, Hodges ran the 40-yard dash in 4.70 seconds and had a 119.0 inches (9'11" or 3.02m) on his broad jump. He also completed 22 reps on the weight bench at 225-pounds (13th best among linebackers). At PSU's Pro Day, he also had a 9'11" broad jump and a 35" vertical. He measured at 6'1", 243 lbs at the Combine and 6'2", 233 at his Pro Day.

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 1 in
(1.85 m)
243 lb
(110 kg)
4.70 s 1.62 s 2.55 s 4.29 s 7.27 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
9 ft 11 in
(3.02 m)
22 reps
All values from NFL Combine and PSU's Pro Day[14]

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

Hodges was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round, with the 120th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft. Hodges signed a four-year, $2.515 million deal with the Vikings on May 14, 2013.[15] Since the signing of Jasper Brinkley, Hodges and Brinkley have switched jerseys. Due to the injury of Anthony Barr, Hodges was able to have a breakout season topping his rookie seasons. He ended his 2014 season with 66 combined tackles, 0.5 sacks, an interception for a touchdown, and 7 pass deflections.

San Francisco 49ers[edit]

On October 6, 2015, the Vikings traded Hodges to the San Francisco 49ers for center Nick Easton and a sixth round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.[16]

In 2016, Hodges played in 15 games with 12 starts, recording career-highs of 83 tackles, 3 sacks, and two interceptions.

Buffalo Bills[edit]

On May 25, 2017, Hodges signed with the Buffalo Bills.[17] He was released on September 3, 2017.[18]

New Orleans Saints[edit]

On October 11, 2017, Hodges signed with the New Orleans Saints.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "OLB Gerald Hodges' wrestling background helping Nittany Lions flatten offenses". Archived from the original on 22 January 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Miller, Randy. "Christian background plays role in former Paulsboro star Hodges staying at PSU". Courier-Post. Gannett. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  3. ^ http://www.gopsusports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/hodges_gerald00.html
  4. ^ http://home.comcast.net/~ecolona/SJRELAYS2007RESULTS.htm
  5. ^ "Gerald Hodges". Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c "Gerald Hodges Profile". Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Gerald Hodges 2011 Player Statistics". Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Gerald Hodges named preseason All-American". Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Linebacker Hodges returns kicks for Penn State". Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Gerald Hodges Stats, News, Videos, Pictures, Bio". Penn State Nittany Lions – ESPN. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Northwestern Wildcats vs. Penn State Nittany Lions". Recap – October 06, 2012 – ESPN. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Flounders, Bob. "Penn State-Indiana game balls: Lions wideout Allen Robinson, outside linebacker Gerald Hodges shine". PennLive.com. PennLive, LLC. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  13. ^ Flounders, Bob. "A Huge Price To Pay: Penn State handles Indiana 45-22 but loses standout Michael Mauti to injury". PennLive.com. Penn Live, LLC. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  14. ^ http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=89619&draftyear=2013&genpos=OLB
  15. ^ Dustin Hockensmith (May 14, 2013). "Former Penn State linebacker Gerald Hodges signs four-year deal with Minnesota Vikings". www.pennlive.com/pennstatefootball. Advance Digital. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ Gutierrez, Paul (October 6, 2015). "49ers acquire LB Gerald Hodges from Vikings". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 6, 2015. 
  17. ^ Brown, Chris. "Bills sign free agent LB Gerald Hodges". BuffaloBills.com. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
  18. ^ Brown, Chris (September 3, 2017). "Bills part ways with RB Williams, WR Brown, LB Hodges; awarded claims on three players". BuffaloBills.com. 
  19. ^ Katzenstein, Josh (October 11, 2017). "New Orleans Saints sign linebacker Gerald Hodges". NOLA.com. 

External links[edit]