Abdul Hodge LB 6’2 234 Iowa
By: Robert Davis
Hawkeye fans have been very blessed to have two standouts at linebacker for the past four years. Hodge and teammate Chad Greenway have arguably been the top duo in the country for the past three seasons. Hodge played right away as a freshman and finished the year with 38 tackles and a sack. He really took off as a sophomore and hasn’t slowed down since. That year, he racked up an amazing 141 tackles, 10 for loss, and two sacks on his way to All Big 10 1st team honors. As a junior, he amassed 116 tackles, five for loss, and three sacks. Hodge did not have a let down as a senior. He tallied a career high 158 tacles, 11 of them coming behind the linge of scrimmage.
Abdul Hodge is a very active inside linebacker. He has a nose for the ball, and is in on every play in front of him. He has excellent instincts and the quickness to react quickly and close on the ball carrier. Hodge will not back down from anyone, and will stick his nose in the middle of the pile to make plays. He plays sideline to sideline and has the speed to make plays all over the field.
The biggest knock with Hodge is his lack of bulk. He is going to need to add more weight and get stronger at the next level to take on NFL blockers. As it stands now, he can be taken out of some plays, and it will only be magnified at the next level.
Aside from pure size, Hodge is a great fit in the middle of any defense. His toughness and all around talent is going to make a lot of teams fall in love with him. Since linebackers tend to not be a premium position come draft day, and with quality depth at linebacker, Hodge likely will not hear his name called in the first frame. Anywhere after that though, he will rate as high as any linebacker and shouldn’t wait to long to find out where he’ll play on Sundays.
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