Michael Clark/Scout

Irish show interest in Hodge

Junior linebacker Darius Hodge has already collected four scholarship offers and is on the verge of becoming a national recruit. Notre Dame is one of the elite programs showing interest.

Darius Hodge isn’t a household name. That could change in the near future.

The 6-foot-2, 246-pound linebacker from Wake Forest High School in North Carolina holds offers from N.C. State, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Virginia. He’s drawn interest from several elite college programs including Notre Dame, Miami and Clemson.

“It's a blessing for me and my family,” Hodge said of the early offers and interest. “But, I need to focus on school work and finishing high school.”

Notre Dame defensive line coach Keith Gilmore has reached out to Hodge to express interest.

“He said they really love the way I play and I will fit good in their defense,” Hodge said. “They also said I need to keep my grades up.”

Hodge was impressed with Gilmore as a coach and recruiter.

“He is a really good coach,” Hodge said. “He knows what he is doing and he brings a lot of energy to the games and practices.”

Hodge attended N.C. State’s junior day and hopes to see several more schools this spring. Notre Dame, Clemson, Florida and Georgia are among the schools on his wish list.

As a junior, Hodge recorded 65 tackles, including nine for a loss and eight sacks.

“I’m physical and aggressive,” he said. “I love contact with blockers and making tackles and I’m very quick for my size.”

He used that quickness to block five punts in 12 games.

“Coach had the best setup for the team and other players on the team helped me get them blocks,” he said.

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