Payton Award finalist: Samford's Hodges soared high

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - It seemed quarterback Devlin Hodges set a different record with each Samford game this season.

Or two. Or six.

Southern Conference defensive coordinators can finally rest easier because the conference's three-time offensive player of the year has capped his amazing college career. If you want to count up Hodges' school, conference and FCS records, it will take a while.

As a senior, he has led the FCS in completions (388), attempts (550) and passing yards (4,283). Along the way, Hodges passed the likes of past Walter Payton Award winners Steve McNair and Armanti Edwards, setting the FCS career record for passing yards (14,584) and the SoCon's all-time mark for total offensive yards (15,601).

"I'm pumped about breaking the all-time passing yards record as well as the other records," said Hodges, who owns 34 of them. "I never dreamed of it to be honest until this past season. I just wanted to go out and play football and I've done that every game. I have always known that to win football games I would have to throw the ball and have a lot of yards.

"I also think it speaks highly of my teammates who have helped me accomplish these records. I have a lot of teammates from the offensive linemen to wide receivers that make it easier to be successful. Records are meant to be broken and mine will be broken, just hopefully not anytime soon!"

Hodges is one of three players who have been invited to the announcement of the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award at the national banquet Jan. 4 in Frisco, Texas. The others up for national offensive player of the year are senior quarterbacks Chandler Burks of Kennesaw State and Easton Stick of North Dakota State.

Hodges accounted for 40 touchdowns (32 passing, eight rushing) in his banner senior season. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound burned Western Carolina for 562 passing yards and seven total touchdowns.

Perhaps more entertaining than watching Hodges on a weekly record-setting basis was what he did last summer. A former junior world champion duck caller, Hodges, or "Duck," came out of retirement with his rubber and plastic whistle-like tool used in hunting and won the Alabama state duck-calling championship.

Opponents confirm he didn't throw any ducks this season.

Updated December 24, 2018

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