College Football Recruiting: Virginia's Temuchin "Bucky" Hodges
"How long have you been a black quarterback?"
-Reporter at Super Bowl XXII Media Day
"I've been a quarterback since high school, and I've been black all my life."
- Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams
*After two seasons in Orlando, the Florida Tuskers are pulling up stakes. The two-time United Football League (UFL) runner-ups are relocating to Virginia Beach this season, where they'll be known as the Virginia Destroyers. Their general manager was supposed to be Doug Williams. 6'4" with a rocket arm out of Grambling State. But when his alma mater offered him the head coaching position, Williams pounced on it.
Doug Williams struggled with Tampa Bay after being selected as their first pick in 1978. After a season in the USFL in 1985, Williams' former offensive coordinator with the Buccaneers begged him to join the Washington Redskins. That coach was Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs. Williams would direct the Skins to the Super Bowl XXII championship, winning MVP honors in a 42-17 blowout of the Denver Broncos. The first and only African-American quarterback to ever lead an NFL team to the title.
As a very young boy, Temuchin Hodges' grandmother saw great promise and hope in his eyes.
"Your future is bright," she told tell her grandson, "You are going to do big things. Going to be most successful. I can feel it. Going to nickname you "Bucky". You are going to make some big money someday."
Temuchin "Bucky" Hodges is a 15-year-old sophomore signal caller at Salem High School. 6'5" with a rocket arm out of Virginia Beach. The similarities to the before-mentioned Doug Williams are striking: same strong presence in the pocket and a dangerous dual-threat who is a gifted track athlete, Bucky terrorizes teams with a bazooka-like delivery. Laserbeam accuracy whether stationary or on the move. His ability to scramble and take off downfield is a nightmare for oceanfront opponents. Bucky ran for nearly 500 yards and eight touchdowns.
In a playoff game victory over rival Ocean Lakes High School this past season, Hodges completed 21 of 27 passes for 211 yards with two touchdowns. Eight different receivers caught at least two balls. He totally outplayed his more ballyhooed counterpart, Vanderbilt commit Lafonte Thourogood.
In a narrow loss the next week to Oscar Smith High School, Hodges completed 18 of 23 with one touchdown. Salem was a young, undersized team. Bucky won't turn 16 till August.
The Sun Devils were not expected to do much in '10. That's not the case in 2011. They are one of the favorites to contend for a Virginia state crown.
USA TODAY defensive player of the year Jadeveon Clowney was generally recognized as the No. 1 high school prospect by major recruiting services this signing season. Hodges reads all of those publications. He cut Clowney's picture out of a recent cover and tossed it in the trash, then inserted his photo in its place.
"I admire Terrelle Pryor. Model my game after his. I know he was the top prospect coming out of Jeannette in 2008. That's what I want. I won't be outworked."
During that 2010 playoff run, Bucky weighed in at 185 pounds. And even though he flattened his share of defenders with his patented forearm shiver, he knew he needed to get bigger and stronger. So he has spent the offseason adding mass to his frame, employing a workout program that would make Mr. Olympia envious. He routinely manhandles 235 pounds on the bench and squats with the offensive lineman. Twenty pounds of rock-solid muscle later, Hodges resembles a NBA small forward: long, lean and powerful. Pity the poor defensive back who gets in his way on one of his favorite plays: the bootleg.
Major college powerhouses already know about the 3.2 GPA honors student. Both major in-state institutions, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech University, have already offered. The mail carrier is getting a herniated disk delivering the plethora of parcels Bucky Hodges receives on a daily basis from other top colleges.
JuniorRank's prestigious Diamond Flight Camps began in March in Florida. Hodges made his JuniorRank debut at the three-day event in Hampton on May 13 through 15. He loved working with former Eagle great Randall Cunningham and the other skilled coaches in attendance. He knew the competition would be intense. He welcomed it. His outstanding play over the three days earned Bucky a spot in JuniorRank's "Proving Ground", an exclusive gathering of the country's top juniors in conjunction with the U.S. Marines this January in Phoenix.
"If you want to be the best, you have to outshine the rest!" Hodges proclaimed.
Any chance that Bucky might buckle under the pressure? No chance. Temuchin Hodges is one of the most assured young men I've come in contact with. The top-rated junior quarterback in the lofty standings of the Future College Athlete Association, the highest-ranked recruiting service in the nation. He knows exactly what he wants. Long-ranges goals locked in. Immensely confident without being cocky. Totally focused. A single-minded determination to be the best. The ability to motivate and lead his Virginia Beach teammates. There will be more quarterback records falling in the Old Dominion State the next two years at Salem High School.
At the conclusion of Super Bowl XLII, on the 20th anniversary of being named Super Bowl XXII MVP, Doug Williams carried the Vince Lombardi trophy on to the field for presentation to the winning New York Giants. Had Williams remained in town, wouldn't it have been amazing if he got to meet his younger mirror image, possibly presenting Temuchin "Bucky" Hodges and his teammates with the Virginia state championship trophy late this fall?
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