Quack Attack: Get to Know the Steelers’ New Quarterback, Devlin ‘Duck’ Hodges
OutdoorHub Reporters 10.15.19
This isn’t the website you visit to get sports scores and fantasy football advice, so I’ll avoid getting too into the weeds here. However, if you happened to catch the Pittsburgh Steelers’ game this past weekend, you may have heard their quarterback being referred to as Devlin “Duck” Hodges, which is the reason behind this article.
Again I’ll try not to get too in depth with this, but Hodges getting the call to start this Sunday comes after not one, but two of the Steelers’ signal callers went down with injuries earlier this season – one of those being future hall of famer, Ben Roethlisberger.
As far as on the field “hype” goes, you probably didn’t hear much of Hodges coming out of college, but he’s got a pretty interesting backstory – and nickname to go with it.
Off the field, perhaps the greatest factoid about Hodges is that his nickname really is “duck,” AND HE’S A DUCK CALLING NATIONAL CHAMPION!
Like many players in the NFL, Hodges is an avid hunter and the nickname became his around the time he stepped on the field in college, according to ESPN:
“The nickname started during his redshirt freshman year at Samford, because he constantly talked about duck hunting and duck calling. Coach Chris Hatcher started calling him Duck, and it wasn’t long before his receivers picked up on it.
“When you say Devlin around our place, people don’t even know who you’re talking about,” Samford offensive coordinator Russ Callaway said.
When he got to Pittsburgh, coach Mike Tomlin added his own spin to the name, calling him “Duck Dynasty.””
In 2018, Devlin Hodges won the Alabama State Duck Calling Contest. But before that, he’d won the 2009 Junior World Duck Calling Contest when he was 13 and finished in the top 5 in several other World’s Championship Duck Calling contests.
“In middle school and the first couple of years of high school, I was heavily into duck calling and practiced constantly,” Hodges explained. “But when I went to college, I couldn’t spend as much time on my duck calling because I had to dedicate more time to football and schoolwork. However, I definitely want to get back into duck calling and competing in duck calling contests when my football days are over.”
So, how is the undrafted rookie handling this sudden role change and all the noise that comes with it?
He’s fully embracing the moment, and his nickname:
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“There’s no red carpet whatsoever being undrafted, being a quarterback,” Hodges’ teammate Alejandro Villanueva said. “He wears that hat very well, the fact that he knows the opportunities are limited.”