- Greg Ostendorf, ESPN Staff Writer
KIMBERLY, Ala. -- Mortimer Jordan High School quarterback Devlin Hodges had his season cut short last fall due to an injury. Fortunately, he’s still just a sophomore. The 2014 prospect is fully healthy this spring and has been itching to get back out on the football field.
“It’s been too long,” Hodges said. “I’m probably the most excited out here. I’m the first one on the field everyday. I wish it didn’t have to end.”
It’s that attitude and love for the game that has Mortimer Jordan head coach Greg Watts excited about the upcoming season. He believes with Hodges at quarterback, his team has the talent to reach the playoffs.
“He brings that great role of leadership that you want out of a young man,” Watts said. “He’s always excited about getting better at practice. He’s just as excited on Monday as he is on Friday night, and that’s after a win or loss. It’s a new week to get better. When you got your quarterback doing that, a lot of kids will follow.”
With the injury last season, Hodges didn’t get the opportunity to show colleges what he could do on the field. However, he believes his recruitment will start to take off this fall if he can come back strong from the injury. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound quarterback has already received strong interest from Alabama and Mississippi State. Both schools have stopped by to visit this spring, and he visited both schools for their respective junior days.
For Alabama, assistant coach Lance Thompson is serving as Hodges’ main recruiter, and the two have formed a strong relationship.
“We talk on the phone once a week, so it’s great,” Hodges said. “I like Coach Thompson and he seems to like me. I talked to him the other day on the phone and he wants to me to give him a call and make sure to let him know I’m coming to camp. I’m looking forward to it.”
Hodges, who grew up a fan of Alabama, would love nothing more than to receive an offer from the Crimson Tide. He went as far to say that UA was his ‘dream school.’
“Ever since I’ve been little, I’ve always dreamed of walking out on Bryant-Denny, playing football,” Hodges said. “It’s fun being an Alabama fan. Living in Alabama is fun. I don’t know if it’s going to affect my decision any.”
At this point, Hodges just wants a chance to play in the SEC. Outside of that, he said he’d like to hear from Clemson, Oklahoma and Texas. His head coach believes he has the tools and the competitive drive to make it as an SEC quarterback.
“He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever been around,” Watts said. “But I’ve had a West Alabama and a North Alabama quarterback. I hadn’t had an Alabama quarterback. That’s what the Lance Thompsons of the world figure out.
“As far as a kid that’s got everything together and a sharp mind, willing to work and a lot of tools, (Hodges) does have that. I think right now the sky’s the limit for him. I wouldn’t count him out from being an SEC quarterback.”
Hodges plans to visit Tuscaloosa in June for the Tide’s camp.
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