Bucky Hodges admittedly was a bit surprised when he got the nod as Salem’s (Virginia Beach, VA) starting quarterback with four games left in his freshman season.
“My first game [as a starter] was Homecoming,” Hodges recalled. “I was real nervous. The coaches kept saying they were going to play me, but I didn’t know they were going to throw me in the Homecoming game. From there I got better each game.”
Hodges recalls throwing for around 200 yards in that first game, and he ended up guiding the Sun Devils to two straight wins to end the 2009 regular season. Last season as a sophomore, he guided Salem to an 8-4 overall record that included a win over a talented Ocean Lakes squad in the Division 6 Eastern Region quarterfinals.
“Bucky started for us last year and got a playoff win under his belt,” Sun Devils head coach Robert Jackson said. “His coming out party was probably in the playoffs. He’s real poised back there. He had a good offseason.”
The 6’6″, 215-pound signal caller attended University of Florida, Old Dominion and Virginia Tech camps this spring and summer. Throw in a couple of Nike camps, and Hodges gained quite a bit of training this offseason.
“They all showed me good stuff to work on,” Hodges said, referring to his 2011 camp circuit. “I got a feel for the coaching staff at each school. They all were telling me to keep working hard.”
Jackson added, “I can see the confidence he has gained this offseason. When he first started playing, he felt like he had to do it all by himself. Now, he is making good use of the other guys. I can see where he has matured a lot as a player. I can tell he has been working on his mechanics. The kid has a lot of upside to him. He has a bright future ahead of him.”
Combining a strong arm with sub 4.6-second speed in the 40, Hodges makes plays through the air and on the ground. Virginia Tech’s coaches saw all they needed to see early on, becoming the first school to offer at the end of Hodges’ freshman year. UVa came through at the end of Hodges’ sophomore year. JMU represents the Salem star’s third offer.
Early recruiting success did not result in Hodges getting complacent. In fact, the result was just the opposite.
“It just motivated...
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