Jason Bailey

Hokies Fuel Virginia Tech Grounded Air Force

Created on Jul. 27, 2014 5:00 AM EST

The Virginia Tech Hokies' ground game wasn't exactly the bees knees of the college football cosmos in 2013 and its aeronautics attack was no hallmark against encompassing conference secondaries, either.

The team's less-then-celestial assault ranked an alarming 63rd in the nation and generated a paltry 236.2 yards per game. That's not something you would want to crow about.

As a matter of fact, the unit's scoring support contingent was so bad, it ruffled the feathers of Gobbler Country's 12th Man on a weekly basis to the point you could see plumage weekly coating the stands of the the Terror Dome. The greatest example of this was the Hokies' revolting 13-10 home loss to subpar conference nemesis Duke. Unable to stomach an embarrassing conference fatality of that magnitude, many fans jumped ship right there.

It would seem that Tech's passing game mandates a priority force of lift to get this flight off the ground.

Blacksburg's residents won't have a prolonged layover thanks to Virginia Tech top gun Bucky Hodges. The imposing redshirt freshman tight end is listed as the No. 171 player in the nation, which isn't bad for a kid who spent his senior year in high school as a quarterback. Hodges fired 18 touchdowns and was picked six times during his senior season in Salem. He also rushed for 505 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior. 

Falsely advertising Hodges would be very hard to do, if not impossible  Virginia Tech's next Greg Boone will make drafting effective defensive alignments for game day difficult for defensive coordinators. Hodges' ceiling as a pass catcher is the ozone layer. The 6-foot-6, 243-pounder wowed during winter workouts ripping off a 4.46 40, and posting a 38.5-inch vertical. Hodges also turned heads on the scout team last fall during practice and in the film room. He dazzled Tech's coaching staff, making a cast of awe-inspiring receptions, which pulled the trigger on his permanent transfer by the Hokies from a quality signal caller to a clutch and reckoning tight end.

The position is hardly a foreign one to Hodges who played it from the Pop Warner level until the sixth grade. And the transfer to tight end by no means comes as a demotion or a setback for the promising recruit, as the Hokies are already stacked with intensified competition at QB-1. It is a matter of strategic leverage for Virginia Tech, dialing up an audible among its presiding recruits and taking full advantage of the immediate resources. Considering the impression Virginia Tech's passing game has made on conference secondaries, it could use a voltaic presence on its air force this fall.

Hodges has picked up the phone, answered the call and will not disappoint.

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