IOWA CITY, Iowa – – Former University of Iowa linebacker Abdul Hodge will serve as honorary captain Friday when Iowa hosts Nebraska at Kinnick Stadium (2:36 p.m., ABC) in the annual Hy-Vee Heroes Game.
Hodge, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Boyd Anderson HS), lettered for the Hawkeyes from 2002-05. Hodge was a key player for the Hawkeyes in one of the most successful periods in school history, helping Iowa post a four-year mark of 38-12. The Hawkeyes won at least 10 games in three straight seasons. Iowa shared Big Ten titles in 2002 and 2004 and appeared in four straight January bowl games, winning both the 2004 Outback Bowl and the 2005 Capital One Bowl.
Hodge led the Big Ten and ranked third in the country in tackles per game (13.2) as a senior, also ranking third in the nation in solo tackles per game (8.0). Hodge ranks third in career tackles at Iowa (453) and is one of three Hawkeyes to lead the team in tackles three consecutive years (2003-05). His 158 tackles in 2005 rank second best at Iowa for a single season. He registered 21 career games with 10 tackles or more.
Hodge, as a senior, also ranked among Big Ten leaders in forced and recovered fumbles, and tackles for loss. He set an Outback Bowl record with 19 tackles in his final game as a Hawkeye in the 2006 Outback Bowl and set a Capital One Bowl record with 16 tackles in the 2005 Capital One bowl win over LSU.
Hodge was a quarterfinalist for the 2005 Lott Trophy and earned All-America accolades as a junior and senior. He earned first team All-Big Ten honors in 2003 and 2005 and second team recognition in 2005. Hodge served as a team captain as a senior and shared Most Valuable Player honors following the season. He also earned the Hayden Fry “Extra Heartbeat” Award and the Iron Hawk Award.
Hodge was selected to participate in the Senior Bowl following his final season and was later selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers. Hodge played for Green Bay, Cincinnati and Carolina during his NFL career that concluded with the 2010 season.
Hodge will accompany the Iowa captains to the center of the field for Friday’s pregame coin toss. He will also be with the Hawkeyes in the locker room before and after the game.