Camp Notes: Daddy DB Seeks Big Senior Season|
Aug. 7, 2013
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - As if entering his senior year with high team expectations wasn't enough, UNLV senior defensive back Sidney Hodge will also have family life weighing down on his already pressured shoulders.
Hodge's wife, Natiyah, is expecting the couple's second child, Sidney Jr., who is due around mid-September. The couple welcomed daughter Cameron in August 2010. Hodge said that will only give him more incentive to play harder in his final campaign as a Rebel.
"(Having a son on the way) just gives me more motivation to work harder for my family," Hodge said. I'm not too sure where the due date falls into the schedule, but I'm pretty excited for that."
On top of the expected new addition to the family, Natihay, a member of the Army National Guard will go active duty in December. With that taking place after the season's end, Hodge doesn't expect that to affect his play this season.
Not only is Hodge's family life in for big changes, his physical appearance has also gone through a noticeable re-do. Hodge has ditched his long dreadlocks and scruffy goatee, opting for a closely cropped haircut and short stubble on his face heading into the season, preparing him for a hopeful career in the Navy after college.
"I cut my hair in February because I have a whole different mindset. I wanted to do something different for as far as where I want to go after college and as far as I want to do with my life, it's pretty much necessary," Hodge said of his new look.
With the Rebel football team making a subtle change of its own, adding red shorts and red and white shoes to the practice uniform for the first time since John Robinson was at the helm of the team in the early 2000s, Hodge said the team is excited about that new threads.
"Oh man, it feels good. Everybody saw the white cleats, red shorts and everybody feels good. It's a different look and we're pretty excited about it," Hodge explained.
Coming off a 2012 season that saw Hodge compile 60 tackles, eight pass breakups, a forced fumble and his first career interception, he hopes to step up his game as a senior.
"I will just try to be the best athlete I can be. I can't really pinpoint a single goal, but I want to get the ball in my hands more and force a few turnovers. My goal is just to win games," Hodge said.
Being the veteran leader of the backfield, Hodge feels the Rebels can do anything they set their mind to this year.
"We got a lot of vets now with a lot of experience under our belt. We got Tajh (Hasson), Fred's (Wilson) coming along, we got Peni Vea, David (Greene) and we got a lot of new freshmen that can play. I mean the sky is the limit for us. We're expecting big things," Hodge said.