Could there be more on the way? ">
Could there be more on the way? ">

Will the Dillard to Pittsburgh pipeline continue?

Dillard high school was good to the University of Pittsburgh this season, sending WR Kelvin Chandler and Blue Chip LB Vernon "Pig" Smith to the Panthers. <BR><BR> Could there be more on the way?

LB Elijah "Hitman" Hodge 6-2, 205 4.5 is being recruited very hard by Pittsburgh and Coach Charlie Partridge.

"I'd say they are in my top 3." said Hodge.

Among the schools that are courting Hodge are Pittsburgh, Iowa, North Carolina State, LSU, Florida State, and Auburn.

A very charismatic young man is Mr. Hodge, who took the time to give me an interview recently.

If you were to name a top 5 right now, who would it be?

"I like them all the same right now, but I would say in no order. Iowa, Florida State, NC State, Pittsburgh, and LSU."

Do you prefer to stay in state?

"I guess I would, but it doesn't really matter, I'm going to do what's best for me."

With Kelvin Chandler and Vernon Smith going to Pittsburgh, does that give them any advantage?

"It helps those are my boys and they really liked it up there, they said everyone at Pittsburgh were good people."

Are you going to any camps?

"I went to the Nike camp at Florida Atlantic and I'm going to the Miami camp on Feb 28th."

What teams do you follow?

"The Jacksonville Jaguars and Florida State."

Is Coach Partridge recruiting you?

"Yeah Coach P., he's a great guy."

Obviously you are being recruited by some of the top teams, do you look at a school like Florida State or LSU and think that you may not play right away?

"I'm an athlete, I like competition, no matter where I go I am going there and I am going to try and start."

"Every coach and recruiter tells you if you come here you'll play right away. And you know they tell everyone that."

What position are you being recruited for?

"Outside linebacker and strong safety."

Do you go by Elijah or do you have a nickname?

"People call me Hitman."

Well, if you go to Pittsburgh that's Clint Sessions's nickname!

"Well when people see me play, they'll call me Hitman too."

So, I take it you like to get physical when you play?

"Very physical, But more read and react. I am a hard hitter, but I am a form tackler. When I hit you, you'll feel me."

Do you play any other sports besides football?

"I run track, the 200, 400, and the 4x100 relay with Chandler."

Tell me something about you which is not football related?

"I look rough and intimidating, but I am a nice person and a good friend."

Any plans on when you will make a choice?

"I'll probably wait to the end."

Some stats on Elijah Hodge: 108 tackles, 9 sacks, 1 interception and 3 forced fumbles. He benches 315 and squats 410 and has a 31" vertical. He excels in the classroom as well with a 3.7 GPA and a 1080 SAT score.

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