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Penn State Football Notebook: Gerald Hodges Left in Dark About NFL Draft Grade

by on April 13, 2012 4:00 PM

Senior linebacker Gerald Hodges flirted with the idea of leaving early for the NFL after last season.

He submitted his name to the NFL Draft Advisory Board for evaluation and draft projection, and his father fielded a call with that information when Hodges was in Dallas for the TicketCity Bowl.

But Hodges still hasn’t learned what the report said.

“He said, ‘You and I aren’t gonna go off of nobody,’ ” Hodges said. “ ‘It’s either you’re gonna go or you’re not. It’s either you feel like you can play or you feel like you can’t.’ I just prayed and made my decision after that.

“I’m real curious,” Hodges said. “He won’t budge. He won’t tell me. I asked him but he won’t budge.”

Silas Redd Taking on Increased Role in Offense

It’s no secret Silas Redd figures to play a prominent role in Penn State’s offense next fall.

Maybe the biggest storyline surrounding Redd will be how dependent the Nittany Lions' offense is on the junior running back.

He said Friday he’s been split out at wide receiver in some formations, and his ideal carry count is 20-24 a game.

But don’t expect to see a ton of Redd at the April 21 Blue-White Game. The coaching staff knows he’s probably the best offensive weapon it has. And, it knows losing a player like him to injury in a next-to-meaningless scrimmage causes chaos for the fall.

Redd’s reps have been diminished because of tendinitis in his knee that first flared up in a recent practice. He said it’s the same knee he hyper-extended in the Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl.

It's not considered serious, just something worth monitoring.

Meanwhile, he’s spending 30-45 minutes a day studying the Penn State playbook.

“I’ve been in it everyday, and I still don’t have everything down,” Redd said. “It’s a lot, but we’re Division I athletes. It’s what we’re supposed to do.

“We have everything. [The coaches] told us what we’re gonna go over in spring ball and what we’re gonna leave for summer camp. I think we have everything, but not everything’s been implemented.”

Fortt Questionable for Blue-White Game

Junior linebacker Khairi Fortt is questionable for the Blue-White Game, coach Bill O’Brien said Friday.

Fortt banged up his right knee earlier in the spring and has had it wrapped while being limited in practice for precautionary reasons.

“It seems like that’s come along very well,” O’Brien said. “We’re gonna see where that is about the middle of the week and then make a judgment on whether he should participate in the Blue-White Game.”

In other injury news, cornerback Curtis Drake has been slowed with a type of shin injury.

Also, O’Brien said he is still gathering information on the police search and seizure of drugs in the apartment of senior wide receiver Devon Smith.

Smith, who is out for the spring with a sprained left foot, has not been charged in connection with the incident.

Consistency could separate quarterbacks

O’Brien hopes he can divide equal repetitions between Matt McGloin, Rob Bolden and Paul Jones in next week’s Blue-White Game.

But the coach indicated the setup of the game may not allow that to happen. He reiterated Friday there’s been no separation between the three quarterbacks but slipped in one indicator as to how one can win the job.

“Consistency, that’s a big part of it, just being able to string a couple good practices together, and those guys are really trying hard to do that,” O’Brien said. “They’re all smart guys. That’s probably the main word they have to understand is if they can just continue to try to be consistent and make good decisions and throw the ball accurately, then that’s probably the guy we’d go with.”

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Nate Mink covers Penn State football and news for StateCollege.com. He's on Twitter as @MinkNate.
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