Jan 02, 2012; Dallas, TX, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions linebacker Gerald Hodges (6) during the game against the Houston Cougars at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Houston won 30-14. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-US PRESSWIRE

Gerald Hodges Named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

The theme today on VBR seems to be D-FENCE. 1st was a breakdown of the Nittany Lions defensive unit, followed by a poll about the conference’s best defense. Up next was Michael Mauti being disrespected by the voters of the Lombardi Award and now, another accolade.

Gerald Hodges was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week today, Penn State’s third such award in four weeks. Michael Mauti won the previous two. No other team has won the award multiple times in 2012. Hodges recorded 11 tackles on Saturday, bringing his total to 50 on the season. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble.

Hodges was a first team All-Big Ten linebacker last year after leading the Nittany Lions in tackles with 106. He briefly entertained the idea of entering the NFL draft before returning for his senior season. He has since switched from weakside linebacker to strongside and may just be adjusting to the switch.

Penn State boasts one of the best linebacker units in the country and the idea that this may have been Hodges 2012 “coming out party” should scare future opponents.


For all of the latest on the Penn State Nittany Lions, follow VBR Lead Editor Tim Tolley on Twitter.

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