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When the Vikings selected former Penn State linebacker Gerald Hodges in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft, the team was expecting to add a productive collegiate player who could develop into a quality starting defensive asset a few seasons down the road.
Coming from a school that has historically produced some pretty great linebackers—most recently, NaVorro Bowman, Sean Lee, Cameron Wake and Paul Posluszny—Hodges came into camp with something to prove.
Before the draft, this guy was considered by most to be a player who was undersized and slow, but somebody who flashed-above average athletic ability at times, and always seemed to make the big tackle.
During his time at Penn State, Hodges was of the most productive defensive players on the field. After watching him debut during rookie minicamp, it looks like the Vikings may have found themselves a defensive starter who could help out from day one.
Showing an understanding for the defensive concepts being dictated to him, Hodges turned out to be a pleasant surprise to watch early on. And outside of his on-field performance, another thing that should make Vikings fans happy, is that this young man is coming into camp with the right state of mind.