football

Florida LB drawing major attention

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Dillard has a new coach in Keith Franklin, and he’ll have one of the Sunshine State’s top prospects under his wing in his first season with the Panthers.
Linebacker Elijah Hodge is expected to be on recruiting boards from coast to coast if the interest he’s received so far is any indication.
“I’ve only been here since January, but all the big-time schools have been in touch with us,” said Franklin, who comes to Dillard from McArthur. “We’ve heard from Miami, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, N.C. State, Iowa, Pittsburgh, LSU, Auburn… You name them, they’re on him.”
Hodge (6-2, 210, 4.5) was an All-Broward County selection as a junior after recording more than 100 tackles, nine sacks and one interception.
“This being my first year, I’m still getting to know him, but from what I’ve seen of him in the past and on film, speed is his best attribute,” Franklin said. “He’s run a 4.45 before. He can really move fore a guy that size. He’s also on our track team in the 400 and 4x4 relay.
“But he’s also a very intelligent kid. His knowledge of the game is up there high. He’s a natural leader and very dedicated to the program. He’s got all those attributes you look for in a player.”
Hodge maintains a 3.6 GPA and has scored a 980 on the SAT, making him an even more attractive prospect.
His brother, Abdul, is a linebacker at Iowa.
Asked if that family tie would give the Hawkeyes an advantage, Franklin said: “I think it helps, but he seems pretty wide open right now. I think he’ll take his time and enjoy the recruiting process.”
Hodge plans to attend the Miami Nike camp in April. He’s also considering invitations to camps at Auburn, LSU, Iowa, Florida and Florida State this summer.
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