ORLANDO, Fla. — Larry Hodges is, in many ways, the sort of tight end Miami wants. The 3-star prospect may be a bit undersized at about 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, but he makes up for it with his sure hands and his ability to line up all over the field. As a junior in 2017, Hodges mostly played tight end and wide receiver, although he also lined up as a running back and even quarterback for Jesuit High School in Tampa.
The Hurricanes managed to sew up Hodges’ commitment on Jan. 20 before most of the nation took notice. Virginia Tech was Miami’s only serious challenger at the time.
The weeks since Hodges picked the Hurricanes, though, have seen an uptick in interest. Oklahoma offered about two weeks later. LSU offered a few more weeks after that. Texas hopped in with an offer March 8. The two Big 12 schools are doing enough to intrigue the pass catcher now, even as he remains firm in his Miami commitment.
“I want to go to Oklahoma and Texas,” Hodges told DieHards on Sunday in Orlando. “Oklahoma’s talking to me a lot.”
Hodges made his way to William R. Boone High School on Sunday for an Under Armour All-America Camp a day after he visited the Hurricanes for the first time since committing. Miami hosted an elite junior day event Saturday in Coral Gables, and the Hurricanes made Hodges feel every bit like a priority.
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Hodges was one of only two tight ends to visit, which meant he got some individualized attention from tight ends coach Todd Hartley and another chance to chat with coach Mark Richt.
“I liked it a lot,” Hodges said. “The coaches [were] great, showed me love a lot. I talked to Coach Richt again, just making sure I stay on top of my grades and all that.”
Hodges spent most of the weekend with that other tight end at the event, 4-star prospect Keon Zipperer. They were also the top two performers at their position a day later at Dr. Norton Baker Field.
Hodges and Zipperer have been close since the recruiting process began, and now they are Florida’s two best tight ends, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. Hodges isn’t pushing too hard for Zipperer, but he would love to play with the Lakeland High School pass catcher in college.
“He needs to,” Hodges said. “I think he will.”
Both are similar prospects in that they are somewhat undersized and best utilized in a variety of roles.
It is part of why it will be so hard for the Sooners or Longhorns to pry away Hodges. The Hurricanes have a track record for getting the most out of prospects such as Hodges. He is the sort of player Miami wants, too.
“That’s the reason why I committed because they use their tight ends a lot. Flex them out wide, use them in motion,” Hodges said. “My size, I can run a route, I can block. I can just move and catch.”