Elite Pass Catcher Has 12 Offers
by Lorenzo Reyna
Add Isaiah Hodgins to the list of high-profile Class of 2017 Passing Down alums who hail from an NFL household.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound wide receiver from Walnut Creek (Calif.) Berean Christian – whose father is former NFL fullback James Hodgins - emerged as the fourth pro football son to show off his dominance in front of the West’s most talented prospects on April 10 at Chabot College. Hodgins – the current owner of 12 Football Bowl Subdivision offers including Purdue, Washington State and Oregon State – is among a list that includes Stanford commit Tucker Fisk (son of former NFL veteran Jason), Darnay Holmes (son of Darick) and Nebraska pledge Keyshawn Johnson Jr. as high school athletes who had a dad doing his work on Sunday afternoons in front of millions of fans.
His father was known more for clearing the running lanes for NFL Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk during his time with the St. Louis Rams. While Hodgins’ Super Bowl winning fullback dad wasn’t known for his receiving skills, the younger Hodgins describes the nine-year pro player and high school football coach as one of his biggest receiving teachers.
“He’s my coach too,” Hodgins said. “He’s always giving me tips, he shares stories of the people he played with and points out things I can do better on. He never lets me get off too easy.”
Hodgins made it clear to cornerbacks at Chabot that covering him wasn’t going to be easy. He tormented defensive backs with his routes, double moves and even hauling down one-handed grabs as his squad TMP Elite punched their ticket into the April 24 Best of the West Regional by placing in the top four.
Arguably, his biggest play came during the semifinal round against Team Malu Fitness. Hodgins ran a deep fade route into the end zone, stretched out his left hand then corralled the ball into his chest for the touchdown, walking away from the play by proudly yelling “All I need is one hand.”
Big plays like that have helped turn him into one of the most desired receivers among college football coaches on the recruiting trail.
“I’m physical, fast and I go and get the ball,” Hodgins said. “I’m not afraid of anybody. I think I can also get the ball short and make a big play out of it.”
He doesn’t just sit down with his father and break down game film on his down time. Hodgins spends some of his spare time dissecting the explosive plays that are made by the NFL receiver he likes comparing himself to: Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons.
“He’s a lot like me,” Hodgins said. “He’s not the quickest, fastest dude like Antonio Brown [of the Pittsburgh Steelers]. He’s big and built like me because he’s strong, he goes and gets the ball and he runs good routes.
Hodgins is aiming to announce his college choice by the end of May. In the meantime, he’s not only narrowing down his college choice, but the son of the Super Bowl XXXIV winner is seeking to improve on his game, even with bloodlines and 12 reported offers.
“I’m working on running more crisp routes, seeing the ball all the way in and catching the ball at all times, especially if it’s in my area,” Hodgins said.