NAME: Darius Hodge
HIGH SCHOOL: Wake Forest (NC)
NOTES: NC State landed a commitment last week from Wake Forest (NC) linebacker Darius Hodge. Hodge, who camped at NC State prior to committing, has plenty of upside.
"I think it's a really good pickup," said Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Michael Clark. "With Darius, he was obviously overshadowed last year with Dexter Lawrence and Xach Gill to an extent, but he still had a really good year."
Hodge is one of the top athletes in the state. At State's camp he checked in at 6-foot-2 and 249 pounds and posted a 4.65 40-yard dash. He also had a 4.3 shuttle with a 35-inch vertical.
"He definitely passes the eye test," said Clark. "Darius gets off the ball well, and he's really physical at the point of attack. He plays hard with a high-motor and being at Wake Forest you know he's well-coached.
"Darius is a winner, and he'll come in and compete early on because he's physically ready to play right away. I think immediately he can help on special teams and push for playing time. Down the road I think he can make an impact."
NC State is recruiting Hodge to play linebacker, and Scout currently has him projected to play outside linebacker. However, he played a lot of defensive end as a junior at Wake Forest, and with his frame his body could go in a variety of ways once he enters a college strength and conditioning program.
"We project him as an outside linebacker and think that's where he's best suited," said Clark. "However, his size, strength and physicality could also allow him to move inside to inside linebacker or if he adds enough weight, possibly defensive tackle.
"He'll give you a lot of options and down the road he could add even more weight. He's a big, athletic kid with a lot of room to grow."
Hodge totaled 65 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, and eight sacks as a junior. Here's your chance to catch the Wolfpack commitment in action!