Following the conclusion of the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie minicamp, which ran from May 10 through May 12, former Samford quarterback Devlin Hodges announced that he had signed with the team via Instagram. This move was then made official by the Steelers organization.
Hodges made an impression on the Steeler staff in the five practices to sign him to a contract which made quarterback Brogan Roback expendable.
While most Steelers fans have not heard of Hodges before, there is plenty to know about the FCS career passing leader. The record was previously held by former NFL quarterback Steve McNair who held onto the record for 24 years.
The four-year starter accumulated 14,584 passing yards, 111 passing touchdowns in 45 games. Hodges also possesses a limited rushing skill set with 370 rushes for 1,017 yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground.
2018 Walter Payton Award
NCAA FCS career passing yards leader (14,584)
3 time Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year (2016-18)
3 time First Team All-Southern Conference (2016-18)
Year / Games / Comp. / Att. / Comp. Pct. / Yards / TDs / INT
2015 / 9 / 200 / 288 / 69.4 / 2230 / 12 / 6
2016 / 12 / 375 / 530 / 70.8 / 4088 / 36 / 8
2017 / 12 / 347 / 528 / 65.7 / 3983 / 31 / 11
2018 / 11 / 388 / 550 / 70.5 / 4283 / 32 / 16
In 2018, the season was a mixed bag for Hodges. He threw a touchdown in every game except the last one against Middle Tennessee St., but interceptions also plagued him all season and had four games with multiple picks. While he had massive games against Shorter and VMI, where he tallied over 800 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, he had 7 interceptions in the Chattanooga and Florida St games combined.
Hodges was sailing along in the first half of the FSU game with two nice touchdown passes that showed good touch on the ball. His first of four interceptions came in the second quarter when he tried to force a pass into tight coverage and the ball bounced up in the air for an easy interception.
The second half Hodges wilted under the constant pressure of the Seminoles defense while playing on the road. All three of the interceptions he tossed were of the ill-advised variety. The first he looked to be throwing the pass away but just was sloppy with it and kept the ball in the field of play. The second Hodges was under heavy duress and instead of taking the sack tried to do too much. The last one which sealed the win for FSU was the most egregious. On 2nd and 8 in a game separated by three points, Hodges stares down his wideout on a curl route and tosses an easy interception. The result should have resulted in a pick six but a sloppy penalty negated the touchdown.
Hodges will have to shine as he did in the first half of the FSU game for Steelers coaches to give him any amount of training camp and preseason snaps. With quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger locked into the starting lineup and a fierce camp battle about to start between Mason Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs, there just might not be many reps. The reps that Hodges gets he needs to make the best of them for any legitimate shot at entering the camp battle let alone signed to the team’s practice squad.