"He has excellent speed," Smith head coach Duran McLaurin said. "He has great catch radius – no ball is basically out of his reach. He has long arms. He goes up and attacks the football. He's 6-3, so he's difficult to guard – he's a match-up problem."
E.E. Smith came into the 2010 season with a pro-I offense. However, four games into the season, injuries forced McLaurin to rely more on the pass. With that emerged Hodges.
"Diante and Joshua Rayford became our primary offensive weapons," McLaurin said. "'J.R.' [Rayford] was our returning starter, which means everybody knew about him. But Diante all the sudden came on the scene. Last spring, when he returned to us, [Hodges] had this freakish speed. Most teams doubled ‘J.R.' and it was basically one-on-one on the backside with Hodges and he destroyed most corners."
Hodges ended his junior season with 23 receptions for 425 yards and four touchdowns.
With Rayford graduating, Hodges will became the focal point of E.E. Smith's offense this fall.
"It's going to be real interesting to see if he can excel without ‘J.R.' on the other side," McLaurin said. "We have another capable receiver, but it's going to be real interesting to see what Hodges does in the ‘go-to' role."
"I'm just going to do what I can and try not to do too much," Hodges said. "I'm going to let my other receiver do what I did last year by taking the majority of the [defensive] attention."
"Most of the schools in the state have put a bid in," McLaurin said. "… I'm expecting that to pick up after we hit the camp circuit this summer."
Hodges hasn't begun to map out his summer camping schedule, but he plans on attending several.
Last summer, Hodges camped at East Carolina and North Carolina. At UNC, he was asked to stay after a session for extra reps.
"There was an extra workout for the receivers and DBs," Hodges said. "[Charlie Williams] asked me if I could stay to run a couple extra routes. He must have liked what he saw during the camp."
Hodges, who has also made unofficial visits to Duke and NC State, doesn't claim any favorite schools.
"I'm just letting everything take care of itself," Hodges said. "Location and academics are the most important factors."
Hodges also starts on E.E. Smith's basketball team and is a contributor on the track and field team. He's roughly averaging 14 points and nine rebounds this season on the hardwood. Last spring, he participated in the long jump and high jump, but will add the 100- and 200-meter dashes to his workload this spring…. As a child, Hodges grew up a Florida fan… Hodges mother is an NC State alum.
Video provided by Jason Pughe of AthleteVault.com.