Hodgdon Optimistic About NFL Draft

As the anchor of a talented Sun Devil offensive line, center Drew Hodgdon was a known commodity not only among his teammates, but also through out the Pac-10 conference. After exhausting his eligibility at ASU, he found himself, much like hundreds of NFL prospects around the country, trying to get himself noticed by as many pro teams as possible. Hodgdon talked to Devils Digest about his life as an NFL prospect.

"I felt real confident," said Drew Hodgdon a day after he worked out with the other Arizona State seniors in front of a dozen or so teams. "I improved my 40 (yards) time, I was clocked at 5.09 and 5.13. I weighed in at 305. I had a good workout on the field with the offensive line coaches of the Vikings and Bills. It was good to get some exposure there." The center added that he didn't lift any weights during his workout since he did that at the NFL combine a few weeks back.

The question on many Sun Devil fans' minds is who will pick Hodgdon during the April 23rd event. The ex-Sun Devil would love to answer that query. "I wish I could tell you which teams are interested and which aren't – it's impossible to tell," he explained. "If I had to guess (aside from the two after mentioned teams) I would say the Panthers, Lions, and the 49ers. I had personal workouts with those teams. I met with the Panthers' general manager when I was at the combine in Indianapolis." He added that his last workout will take place at San Francisco this weekend.

Hodgdon listed body awareness and balance as the attributes he worked on the most to improve. "I've always been strong enough and quick enough to play, so I wasn't concerned with those aspects." Another set of skills he felt comfortable with was his knowledge of the game, which he believes was successfully conveyed to all those who conversed with him. "When they interviewed me, they get a good feel for me and can tell I'm an intelligent person and not just a jock with a number," he commented. "They definitely get a sense that I can use a lot of mental facilities to my advantage."

Warren Anderson, a personal trainer from Phoenix who trains Donovan McNabb, was in charge of getting Hodgdon ready for the NFL combine and the ensuing workouts. The highlight of those workouts was naturally the combine, which Hodgdon views more as a mental rather than physical exercise. "The combine was everything it was cracked up to be," he recalled. "Looking back, it has everything to do with teams watching how you react to the whole stress of the event. I think the numbers (i.e. measurements, stats) are just the icing on the cake. It's really trying to gauge your reaction to being under so much scrutiny in four days."

An injury mired some of the drills he had to go through during the combine. "I was training hard and putting up some real impressive numbers before the combine," he said. "Then I strained my back before I got out there, and the day of the bench (at the combine) I really strained it and it really hindered me during the rest of the testing. I still finished fairly well compared to the other linemen, but I was disappointed because I knew I could have done much better. I think teams got a sense where I should have been normally."

Working out at the football practice field does evoke some pleasant recollections of his Sun Devil career. "I have a good amount of fond memories, it's hard to pick one out," he remarked. "Obviously, ending the season with a Sun Bowl victory was a great memory, playing with Andrew was an honor…it was just a fun day in and day out experience. I used to love to go to practice, and hanging out with my teammates."

Hodgdon is the lone player leaving ASU's offensive line, a unit, which those who follow the team say is extremely talented and deep. Does Hodgdon share those sentiments? "It's absolutely true," he claimed, "especially with me going down at the beginning of the year and we still had the success that we had. It's a group that should be successful for the next few years."

The success Hodgdon is seeking for himself these days is getting picked by an NFL team, with the hope that he will get drafted as high as possible. "No one has the crystal ball or any idea where I will go," he said. "That's just the anxiety of draft day. I am a center, and that's one of the hardest positions to get drafted in. I hope a lot of centers and guards go ahead of me in the draft, so that would help me out. I'd be pleased to go in the fourth round. Hopefully that's what happens."

One thing that Drew Hodgdon can be certain of: the Sun Devil fans will definitely be crossing their fingers for him.

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