Sep 27, 2014; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies tight end Bucky Hodges (7) catches a touchdown in the end zone during the first quarter against the Western Michigan Broncos at Lane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
Entering the season, there were not many expectations for Bucky Hodges despite the fact that he showed a lot of potential in the spring. Many people recognized Hodges’s huge ceiling but with two quality targets in Ryan Malleck and Kalvin Cline, the Hokies seemed set to rely mainly on those two guys at tight end.
Injuries to Kalvin Cline opened the door for Hodges who has now become the Hokies’ leading pass catcher at tight end while being on the field for many snaps.
Hodges has put up some very good numbers this season with 29 catches for 360 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns so far on the season. These stats are quite impressive especially since Hodges just made the transition from quarterback to tight end last season.
The Hokies have used Hodges at quarterback out of the “Wild Turkey” formation but that has not been very successful with Hodges having only 5 carries for 14 yards. However, Hodges has proven to be a very dangerous passing weapon that has the potential to be the best tight end in college football before he leaves Blacksburg.
Hodges is not a very good blocker but he has the talent to become a decent blocker which he should be able to become next season. The Hokies’ focus with Hodges is not as a blocker that much as it is getting him down the field and letting him make plays in the passing game.
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Hodges’s size makes him enough of a challenge to cover as there aren’t many tight ends as big as Hodges at 6-6 and 240 pounds. Hodges knows how to use his size to his advantage in the red zone and has the athleticism to go up and get the ball to make sure that the defender doesn’t have much of a chance to make a play.
Hodges combines his great size and athleticism with above-average speed which makes him a dangerous threat all over the field whether he is lined up at a traditional tight end spot or all the way on the outside. Hodges has the skills to do tons of damage over the middle on post routes with most safeties not having the size to cover him and most linebackers not being fast enough to stay up with him.
Hodges still has a lot of room to grow and the fact that he made the midseason watch list for the John Mackey Award was very impressive. Hodges has a bright future ahead of him and also could be a future high draft pick.
Bucky Hodges’s potential is limitless and it wouldn’t surprise me if he makes an All-American team during his time in Blacksburg.