If you took in a Mesa Mountain View Toro football game in 2014, it was hard not to notice a six-foot-seven inch player wearing the number 80.
That player was Curtis Hodges who most certainly passed the eye test for the Toros on the football field last season not just because of his stature, but from the plays he was able to make. Quite possibly considered one of the 2014 breakout players from the season averaging over 12 yards per catch and hauling in two touchdowns as just a sophomore.
“Last season on the football field was great,” Hodges told Sports360AZ.com. “I learned a lot, I got to be mentored by Mata’ava Ta’ase (Toro senior-to-be wide receiver) and had a lot of good people on the field. This year we should be coming back and battling.”
Hodges is putting in a ton of work this summer. Not just to take the next step going into his junior season on the football field, but also on the basketball court. This summer, in addition to passing league tournaments, Hodges is suiting up for Summer League Basketball games as well and at times, showing up for two practices for two different sports a day.
“I’m doing both football and basketball,” he mentioned. “A lot of practices. A couple practices a day. So it’s been good work getting ready for the year.”
Hodges did not compete at the varsity level for basketball last season but has been this summer and most definitely will be as a junior in 2014-15.
“I’ve got to pick it up a lot on the basketball court,” explained Hodges. “Because basketball isn’t my best sport but I’m trying to get better at it.”
Something that helps, he is working to improve his skill set in areas that can help for both sports as a wide receiver and as a power forward.
“Speed,” Hodges stated. “Trying to get faster on the field and on the court too. But just trying to get quicker and focus a little bit more.”
So the question is, when coaches at the next level see Curtis Hodges’ size and athletic ability do they see him as a basketball or football player and will the preference for which one he prefers make an impact?
“They always bring up that question,” Hodges said. “But basketball is my first sport but it can go either way.”
Hodges begins what will be a fun and athletics filled stretch from August through february for football and then basketball at the varsity level when the Toro football team hosts Horizon on August 21st.