Samford QB Hodges is an offensive machine

(STATS) – If Samford senior quarterback Devlin Hodges winds up falling between Steve McNair and Armanti Edwards in the FCS record book during the 2018 season, maybe he, too, will win the Walter Payton Award.

By simply matching his junior season, Hodges would finish comfortably at No. 2 in FCS history in total offense. He enters his final campaign with 11,005 career yards, on pace to finish second behind McNair of Alcorn State (16,823 yards from 1991-94), but ahead of Appalachian State’s Edwards (14,753).

McNair won the 1993 Payton Award as the FCS offensive player of the year and Edwards became the first two-time winner in 2008 and ’09. Last year, Hodges finished fourth in the voting for the esteemed award presented by STATS.

“I feel like I’ve been a leader for the team ever since I’ve been playing,” Hodges told “My teammates have voted me team captain every year, which has been a tremendous blessing. So I don’t want to approach it any differently, just because it’s my senior year. I just want to keep doing what I’m doing, just trying to make the team the best we can be.”

The two-time Southern Conference offensive player of the year helped Samford (8-4) to its second straight at-large playoff bid last season. With the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hodges as one of 10 returning starters on offense, coach Chris Hatcher’s squad could be the conference’s preseason favorite.

Hodges is an exception in the run-oriented SoCon. The dual-threat QB passed for 3,983 yards and 31 touchdowns and had 4,138 yards of total offense last year. During his sophomore season in 2016, he set school records for passing yards (4,088), total offensive yards (4,310) and touchdown passes (36).