Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies tight end Kalvin Cline (93) is tackled by UCLA Bruins cornerback Ishmael Adams (24) during the first quarter in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Coming out of high school, Bucky Hodges was a four-star dual-threat quarterback prospect from Salem High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia that many schools across the country were targeting. The Virginia Tech Hokies were able to keep him in-state and many Hokie fans thought that Hodges might just end up being the long-term replacement for Logan Thomas. However, Hodges will not be the replacement for Logan Thomas but he definitely has the talent to make a big time impact in Blacksburg in the near future.
Bucky Hodges was redshirted last season so that he could make a transition from the quarterback position to tight end. Hodges always had great size just like Logan Thomas but Hodges actually made the shift from quarterback to tight end that Logan Thomas almost made early on in his Virginia Tech career. For Hodges, this was a gamble but he has worked hard since September and has proven that he could be a very good tight end.
Bucky Hodges bulked up to 243 pounds this offseason and with his 6-6 height, Hodges has the size of a tight end that many teams would love to have. Bucky Hodges also has proven to have very good speed for a tight end and is the type of guy that projects as a great developmental project for tight ends coach Bryan Stinespring. It would not surprise me if Hodges is the number 3 tight end by the start of the season behind Kalvin Cline and Ryan Malleck.
This past spring, Bucky Hodges showed that he is already improving fairly quickly and that he has the work ethic to become a big time tight end. During this year’s Spring Game, Hodges proved that he is a guy that is faster than a lot of linebackers which is critical for a tight end to have success in the passing game. Hodges has also already become a decent route runner and a tight end that knows how to use his size to his advantage to make plays over defensive players that are probably all shorter than him.
The one part of Hodges’s game that will probably take some time to get better is his blocking skills but that is something that Stinespring and Hodges will continue to work on this summer. However, Hodges showed some minor improvement in the blocking department in the Spring Game and is a guy that could be used as a run blocker if the Hokies need to this fall.
Bucky Hodges might not be a very good blocker just yet but Hodges is already a definite weapon in the passing game that Scot Loeffler will have to try to incorporate into his system this fall. Bucky Hodges has the rare combo of speed and size that can make him a unique target and a secret weapon of sorts for the Hokies. Hodges has the potential to be a guy that might start out slow but make a larger impact as he improves over the course of the season. Hodges is definitely someone for Hokies’ fans to keep an eye on this fall.
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