CORVALLIS Oregon State's Isaac Hodgins has been advised to work as hard as possible for the majority of his football life.
It's one reason the 6-foot, 266-pound senior defensive end has played 30 games in a row, including 11 as a true freshman.
This might be the reason Hodgins didn't compete for a game during the 2021 season. Hodgins continues to watch the Beavers from the sideline during spring practice as to correct a bleak foot that occurred last August in a training camp.
Hodgins is rarely seen this spring without one knee on his four-wheel scooter. Hodgins takes doctor's orders seriously, because he wants to avoid any issues that might hinder him from playing this fall.
Hodgins had a second foot surgery earlier this year, after the first surgery, which he was unsuccessful. Hodgins said the bone was not properly fused in the months following the initial surgery, thus requiring a second procedure.
After the first surgery, Hodgins believes he jumped the gun on his activities.
My pastor always tells me that your body is stronger than yours, so I thought, I feel good. I can go do things. It wasnt completely healed. I wasn't giving it enough time and space to heal, really., he said.
Hodgins said he's recently had a doctor's appointment, and "it's probably the first good one I've had since I was injured," and that the bone is recovering.
He believes the journey I'm on right now should be faster than anticipated, Hodgins said.
Hodgins isn't taking chances. He'll continue to drive himself around campus and Corvallis until getting the medical approval. If the bone heals as planned, he should return to work in June.
The Beavers' defense might benefit from a fully cleared Hodgins in August. He is the most experienced player in the defense, though he isn't ready to practice under first-year coordinator Trent Bray.
Hodgins understands Bray as he has served on the defensive coordinator for the entire offensive end's OSU career. Bray's style is more aggressive and aggressive than former Oregon State defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar.
Bray's defense is a better fit, according to Hodgins, especially since he is a fast, undersized lineman.
It's easier to get upfield, then go and play fast, Hodgins said. I had some success with the other defense, but this one for sure fits a little further. You can see guys out there making plays, lots of sacks, and a lot of (tackles for losses) the defensive line is doing fantastic.
Hodgins believes it will be a significant challenge mentally to return to form once he has cleared. It will not be seamless. Hodgins has a good understanding of his situation, citing it as the "first world problem."
"It's been difficult for me for certain," Hodgins said. "For me, if it wasn't for my family and my church family, my wife, the Lord gives me encouragement through them."
Because he was able to wear a redshirt while playing last season, Hodgins has two years of eligibility remaining. He's curious whether he'll play one or two years, and many of it depends on how much he will play this season.
"I've been thinking about it. I just don't know," Hodgins said, whose older brother Isaiah and his father played in the NFL.
Saturday is Oregon State's spring game, the only public scrimmage/practice this spring. Hodgins was the star of last year's spring game, not because of anything he did as a player. As the scrimmage approached, Hodgins approached his girlfriend, now wife, Taylor.
When asked if he had any intentions for this year's plot, Hodgins slammed.
I cant propose again, but Im sure my wife would like it, Hodgins said.
--Nick Daschel | |