The CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks have opened up the 2021 CFL season 1-4. After a 3-15 season the last time they played in 2019 it has looked to be a very similar season this year, however the Redblacks’ front office will not let that happen. During the week 7 bye week the Ottawa Redblacks have already signed former Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrance Williams, along with others Terry Williams, De’Lance Turner, and Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi and CFL veteran wide receiver Kenny Stafford with ambitions to turn the season around. To add to the list of transactions, the Ottawa Redblacks have also brought in quarterback Devlin Hodges off of their negotiations list.
Devlin “Duck” Hodges played his collegiate football career at Samford University where he excelled, breaking records and threw for 14,584 yards and 111 touchdowns over 4 years as a starting quarterback and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019 where he would later go on and replace the injured Ben Roethlisberger and Mason Rudolph. He started 6 games during the 2019 NFL season with the Steelers, finishing with a 3-3 record, 1,068 yards and 5 touchdowns through the air as well as 68 yards on the ground. Hodges became well known in the NFL throughout the 2019 season because of his interesting nickname “Duck” which was given to him at Samford after the team learned about his duck calling abilities, he actually won the Alabama State Duck Calling Championship in 2018 just prior to his time with the Steelers.
As for football Hodges also spent the 2020 NFL season on the Steelers’ practice roster and was recently found with the Los Angeles Rams for the 2021 NFL pre-season where he had played in one pre-season game, completing 11 of 19 passing attempts for 85 yards and running for an additional 3 yards on one scramble. He was released at the end of August by the Rams and had tryouts with both the New England Patriots and New York Giants in September but with his rights owned by the Ottawa Redblacks in the CFL his only other option outside of any NFL opportunities that may have come up would have been coming to the Redblacks in the nation’s capital.
At just 25 years old, it is clear that he has a lot left in the tank and reuniting with former Samford teammate Shaheed Salmon with the Ottawa Redblacks and finding himself in the quarterback room with Matt Nichols, and Dominique Davis Hodges may have a bright future in the CFL. He has a strong arm and has the ability to extend plays with his legs if needed, but what sticks out the most is his ability to perform under pressure. Coming into Ottawa, if he were to start a game early in his tenure it would be under pressure, there would be a lot of eyes on what he is able to do but it will not be the first time that all eyes are on him. He was able to perform well in a similar situation with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2019. With this signing and the Ottawa Redblacks sitting with a 1-4 record at the timing of it, Redblacks fans will hope that he is able to repeat what he was able to do with the Steelers when Roethlisberger was injured in 2019 and even extend his success into his future with Ottawa.
Hodges’ contract with Ottawa is a three year deal.