Hodgson, who has been a vital cog for the Sooners as a kickoff specialist, got the word from head coach Bob Stoops last month.
“That was a great feeling,” Hodgson said. “Coach Stoops came up to me in the locker room. He was saying hey to everybody and asked how I was kicking. He said he was going to try to put me on scholarship.
“I told my mom and dad. My mom screamed. I’ve played for two years, and it was good to know they appreciate my value.”
It’s not too unusual for Stoops to make a decision like that as it has been the case in the past with specialists. And just because he has the scholarship doesn’t mean Hodgson is slowing down.
Being the kickoff guy is great, but he’s fighting hard to win the job as OU’s field goal kicker this season. It definitely paid off in the spring.
“I put a lot of attention on field goals to replace (Michael) Hunnicutt,” Hodgson said. “I wanted to get more well-rounded.”
Hodgson said the biggest difference in kicking field goals against kickoffs is “making sure you get the same repetitive motions over and over again. It’s a lot different because you have to be in more control.”
Hodgson is battling it out with freshman kicker Austin Seibert for the right to earn the field goal duties for the Sooners.
All the talk for Oklahoma and the kicking game has been about freshman Austin Seibert. Outspoken on social media and an Under Armour All-American, he is expected to be the next great kicker for the Sooners.
Just don’t tell that to Nick Hodgson, at least not yet. Maybe Seibert is the answer in the future, but Hodgson is hoping he’s the answer for the now, for the 2015 season.
“Oh yeah, you don’t want an 18-year-old to come in and say I’m better than you,” Hodgson said. “All I can do is just keep doing what I’m doing.”
Hodgson heard about the hype with Seibert, seeing the videos of Seibert’s big-time kicks from his days in high schools. Hodgson wasn’t sure what to think of Seibert. But now that’s he’s had more time with him, he knows Seibert fits in.
“At first I was kind of skeptical because a lot of guys have that big ball video,” Hodgson said. “But he’s a good freshman, a real good freshman.”
Seibert said he wants to handle all three kicking duties for the Sooners. He wants to handle kickoffs, field goals and the punting. Hodgson will definitely earn one of those jobs, entering his third year as the kickoff guy.
The question will be who will be the field goal kicker for the Sooners. There’s no answer now, but it appears like the Sooners have two quality options to choose from going forward.